But how do we come to the conclusion that it is real or actual? I believe we each perceive things differently, and the combination of all our perceptions creates how we view the world and creates the notion of reality. As seen in the diagram reality was broken down into three subgroups: personal, social and universal reality. I believe there are two categories of reality; either physical reality or mental reality. Physical reality is when one senses the notion of an entity first hand, one sees, touches, smells, hears or tastes the reality of an entity.
Without the five senses I believe it would be impossible for one to reach the notion of physical reality. Mental reality on the other hand is when you have not experienced the entity as physical reality but have a mental picture of what or how that entity would look like or feel like. Both physical and mental reality would be linked to social reality and there would be two universes, one which consisted of matter, time, energy would fall under physical and everything else out there which cannot be described or put into words would be categorized as another universe.
The news would be an example of physical reality, although we may sometimes receive inaccurate information, the news overall is based on real life occurrences and tragedies. However, mental reality includes nonphysical entities such as spirits. For example Religion would be an example of mental reality because religion is something one believes in and it becomes their form reality.
With that said, there would be an aftermath to this model which would consist of my reality vs. our reality which then would be alternated into “the reality”. The notion of conforming is tied in with reality. Regardless of the fact that often we hear first-hand experiences from people which are unbelievable, we tend to believe it because it was experienced first-hand. It is the notion of conformity; someone else’s reality became our reality which therefore makes it “the reality”. Physical reality as observed by one mind is always different from how it is perceived by another.
However, the fact that all minds agree on perceiving, means that there is something out there to be perceived. The very fact that a mind may proclaim the lack of perception of one thing or another means that that mind is interacting with another and therefore they both exist. One can therefore conclude that there is physical reality out there. This leads one to defining physical reality. Physical reality is the events within the continuum of the Universe.
Hence, everything in existence, including us, or rather the particles from which we are made are events which take place and remain in existence for as long as conditions in the surroundings permit. Nagel’s difficulty is essentially this: he believes that there are some experiences which are completely beyond human understanding. He argues, imagine an approximation of what it might be like if we were bats. It is possible to imagine being nearsighted, blind, muted, deaf, and possibly even attempting to fly on two feet.
But this is just what it is like for us to be a bat, not what it is like in the eyes of a bat being a bat. A similar analogue might be drawn for a person who was blind from birth. “The subjective character of the experience of a person deaf and blind from birth is not accessible to me, for example, nor presumably is mine to him (Nagel, 1974)”. They might develop an intellectual understanding of what light is and learn about how sighted people react and use it, but Nagel suspects that even with all the training in the world, they will never really understand what it is like to see.
This is the kind of subjective experience that he identifies with consciousness itself and he takes great pains to observe that although we can do a great job describing how neurons work, we still have essentially no explanation for consciousness itself. We can describe any number of phenomenon associated with thinking beings, but in any of them consciousness seems to be something that might be there or not. We do not even have a way to ultimately tell whether other humans are conscious, though they certainly seem to be.
His argument, then leads him to stating that although science seems able to objectively describe things in such a way that no point of view is necessary or even implied, it should also acknowledge the presence of this ineffable subjective experience as well. He does not suggest that such experience is necessarily beyond the bounds of analysis. Quite the contrary he seems mostly to be advocating a greater study of it; that the whole is perhaps greater than the sum of its parts. The development of science and technology plays a huge factor and plays a big role in the influence among these elements in the diagram.
An example would be Project Natal, in which many of us sensed it was ‘real’. The question is what brought us to the conclusion that Milo was indeed real? The answer is simple. With technology improving, it is quite impossible now to tell the difference between what is real and that which is not. Quite surprisingly, with errors pointed out, it was determined that the Milo demo was fake. With the conclusion that each person’s reality is different based on their insights, perspective, beliefs or even simply what they ‘heard’, one’s reality may change in the long run.
We often hear the expression “reality bites”, this expression construes as the shock of reality. When our desires, wishes and expectations fall apart, then “reality bites. ” Often the term is paired with ‘high hopes’. People are good at constructing their own image of the world and themselves, which is often slightly detached from reality. Going back to my diagram, the only way you would be able to detach from reality is if you believe reality through what is heard, rather than seen.
An example would be a person being encouraged to start a business of their own because one of their fellow friends became wealthy off a business. Not everyone succeeds in business which is reality, but the fact that this person started the business because of someone else’s reality means he was paired with ‘high hopes’ which was not his reality, but rather an illusion. A quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, “There are no facts, only interpretations”, tells us that there is no one specific definition for reality, because reality is not a fact it is an interpretation.
Referring back to my diagram, the non-physical and physical approach to reality would definitely be a different interpretation for everyone because we all have different senses. For example, one would never know what it is like to live as a bat because we are not physically a bat, regardless of the fact that we may know the living conditions of a bat; we would never know ‘exactly’ how it is living as a bat. Likewise, a bat would never know what it is like to live a human for the same reasons. Therefore, reality is interpreted differently, not just for humans but for animals and other living creatures as well.