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Is Reality an Unknown Thing ?

  1. Apr 22, 2007 #1
    I would like to start a thread to get feedback on this statement:
    Reality is an Unknown Thing. ​

    True or False and why please.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 22, 2007 #2
    False, as we all have a false perception on life
  4. Apr 22, 2007 #3
    That is positively the dumbest response I have ever read as it has utterly nothing to do with the question asked. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    Have a ball, this thread is of no interest to me -- Doctordick
  5. Apr 22, 2007 #4
    Well the you answered the question, or the answer is the question? or the question is the answer? why? because you asked the question. thats why?
  6. Apr 24, 2007 #5
    I agree, from my point of view we live in our perceptions and not the reality...

    Its just our nervous system which is playing this reality game with us. It could have been really different if the structure of say brain was different, so reality is unknown...

    Don't you think so?
  7. Apr 24, 2007 #6


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    Homework Helper

    what is reality? can we define it? even if we think we can, how can we know we have defined it meaningfully? Or are we just playing with words here? Language development was highly influenced by our way of thinking in the first place; our actions, our senses and eveything that involve our brain to work, somehow changes what we mean by "reality".....so how can we be sure? In fact, I am not even sure what I am saying makes sense any more.... oh no.. logic is breaking down too... god pls help... :smile:
  8. Apr 24, 2007 #7
    Reality is an unknown thing? - Its not an unknown thing because what I am breathing right now is the same real air you are breathing. The difference is how it tastes to you and how it tastes to me.
  9. Apr 25, 2007 #8
    I assume by reality you mean the material world. And I am also supposing that you are using "know" in the acquaintance sense.

    Then yes, we can be acquainted with (at least some parts of) reality via or sense data.

    If you mean "know" in the existence sense then yes, by definition.
  10. Apr 25, 2007 #9
    Yes, by "reality" I mean that which exists, that is, the metaphysical given. By "know" I mean forming a union with the metaphysical given, what has been called a "mental grasp". Now, my statement of interest is:
    Reality is an Unknown Thing​
    So, on the one hand, it does appear true that I can mentally grasp (= know) things that are metaphyically given (= Reality), that is, that I can form union with Reality. However, on the other hand, if all I do is "mentally grasp" Reality is it not true that I grasp only the fact that the metaphysical given has an Identity, but I grasp not the essence of the Identity ? Therefore, given via logic that there are only two ways to "know" any metaphysical given, (1) from inside the thing and (2) from outside the thing, I find no logical way to mentally grasp (= know) any metaphysical given from the inside, thus I conclude that the the statement:
    Reality is an Unknown Thing​

    is a truth statement. But then, this is why I post, to see what others have to say.
  11. Apr 25, 2007 #10


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    Many know reality.

    There are as many realities as those who know it.
  12. Apr 26, 2007 #11
    I've been reading some discussions on this forum and I'm appaled as to how often this notion comes up. I can see how people are led to believe that, and I'm not sure I can explain what's wrong with it, but I'm fully convinced the notion is mistaken.

    If reality were unknown, you couldn't say anything at all about it. You could still say "reality is unknown" but it would be meaningless as... well, we wouldn't know what the heck you would be talking about. Just replace the word "reality" in the sentence with any word you make up, and that should become obvious. ("walo is unknown" - sure, but who cares?)

    Now there are many thing we know about reality. We know it is the opposite of our imagination. We know it is the set of everything that exists. We know it interacts with us. And so on and on. We gathered all this knowledge about reality by learning, from a young age, what people mean when they use the word "reality". If people had no knowledge of reality, therefore never intending to mean anything when they used the word, then the concept would be meaningless and this discussion would serve no purpose.
  13. Apr 26, 2007 #12
    This is astute in its simplicity. Yes, we must at a minimum define what we mean by "reality" before asking if we know anything about it since discussing an undefined term is worthless. Then we would necessarily know something about it as per its definition.
  14. May 4, 2007 #13
    I am surprised. This whole philosophy thing is about comparing 'realities'. I enjoy reading your views on realities-- they are more profound than most.
  15. May 4, 2007 #14
    True, and false.

    1) true
    if we define reality as all that exist. Obviously, we have no ideas as to why things exist.

    2) false
    We surely do seem to know about reality. science tell use something about that physical universe.
  16. May 4, 2007 #15
    I'm new to this forum, but this thread was really interesting to me, so...
    I would say that reality can only exist so long as there is something around that is able to perceive or experience it, so perhaps only the reality that we can sense is real. in other words, if everyone was blind but had great hearing, i'd say that visual input would not be real, but auditory input could be. this is not to say that the same matter could not create both sorts of sensory information, but rather that reality can only defined as something measurable, or at least something able to be experienced.

    this would mean that there may be matter or phenomena in existence that we cannot perceive and, although it actually exists, should be considered as outside of reality.

    did that make any sense? sometimes i get befuddled...this would be just too easy to dismiss as a matter of semantics, but i hesitate to do that.
  17. Aug 10, 2007 #16
    Yes, I find it makes sense, for suppose that what exists is in fact the superposition of two or more entities that are at essense based on the union of the real and the imaginary. Thus Existence may be more than what is only real (clearly what is real also exists), but I see no logical reason why Existence as a metaphysical given could not be a dialectic union of the real and imaginary--in a mathematical sense that is.
  18. Aug 11, 2007 #17
    If i'm to understand you, you're saying that the quantifiable universe is comprised of "the real and imaginary--in a mathematical sense." So, are you saying that existence is comprised of both real and imaginary numbers? That's an interesting concept, that figures that we assume could not exist in the physical world could actually make up the fabric of some sort of superimposed reality, existing within and throughout our own. Of course, this is all conjecture bounding on philosophy, as these sorts of ideas would be impossible to even hypothesize upon, much less test.
  19. Aug 13, 2007 #18
    Yes--you are understanding my thoughts. In more detail what I am saying is that Existence is a dialectic superposition of mass asymmetrical entities involving matter and antimatter that can be explained mathematically only by the union of real and imaginary numbers--but not "existing within and throughout our own existence"--they are our own existence. Not pure conjecture, here is the hypothesis to test--develop the mathematics using real and imaginary numbers to show the physical outcome of forming stable union of matter helium-3 and antimatter deuteron.
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