About This Chapter
Reality in Philosophy - Chapter Summary
What is reality? How can you distinguish something that actually exists from that which only appears to exist? These questions have plagued philosophers for centuries. In this chapter, we'll define reality and take a look at different philosophers' arguments on this topic by examining Plato's theory of innate ideas, Gottfried Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason and much more. Find out how well you comprehend these arguments using our practice quizzes and exam. Once you've finished this chapter, you will be able to:
- Discuss pre-Socratic views on reality
- Differentiate between real and true in philosophy
- Share an explanation of The Allegory of the Cave by Plato
- Describe Plato's theory of forms and theory of innate ideas
- Explain Aristotle's theory of four causes
- Discuss Aristotle's critique of Plato's theory of forms
- Describe Eastern approaches to metaphysics
- Summarize the principle of sufficient reasoning by Gottfried Leibniz
- Outline Bertrand Russell's perspective on appearance and reality
1. The Concept of Reality Before Socrates
This lesson will focus on the Presocratic philosophers who sought rational answers to the natural world. It will highlight Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Pythagoras, Heraclitus and Parmenides.
2. The Difference Between Real and True in Philosophy
This lesson will explain what philosophy sees as the difference between real and true. In doing this, it will highlight the subjectivity of the material as well as the correspondence theory and the principle of non-contradiction.
3. The Allegory of the Cave by Plato: Summary, Analysis & Explanation
Plato's allegory of the cave is one of the best-known, most insightful attempts to explain the nature of reality. The cave represents the state of most human beings, and the tale of a dramatic exit from the cave is the source of true understanding.
4. The Theory of Forms by Plato: Definition & Examples
What is 'real?' Is the physical world the 'real' world? Or is there a deeper reality beyond the physical world? Plato offered an answer in his Theory of Forms. Read more about this theory below!
5. Plato's Theory of Innate Ideas
This lesson will explore Plato's theory of innate ideas. In doing so, it will highlight his concept of forms versus senses, while also using the famous table illustration.
6. Aristotle's Metaphysics: The Four Causes
This lesson will define metaphysics. It will also discuss Aristotle's theory of four causes, specifically the material, formal, efficient, and final causes of being.
7. The Third Man Argument: Aristotle's Critique of Forms
This lesson will explain Aristotle's critique of Plato's theory of forms. In doing so, it will use a table to explain the concept of forms and senses. It will also explore how this relates to humankind.
8. Eastern Approaches to Metaphysics
This lesson will explain Eastern metaphysics. In doing so, it will compare it to Western metaphysics. It will also explore the theories of dualism and monism, the concept of Brahman, and the Dhammapada.
9. Gottfried Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason
This lesson will explain the principle of sufficient reason. In doing this, it will highlight the assertions of Gottfried Leibniz and the cosmological argument for the existence of God.
10. Bertrand Russell on Appearance & Reality
This lesson will focus on the assertions of Bertrand Russell. It will highlight his definition of philosophy, his work, 'The Problems of Philosophy' and his famous table illustration.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the Philosophy 101: Intro to Philosophy course
- Introduction to Philosophy & Logic
- Types of Fallacies
- Free Will & Determinism
- Self, Mind & Soul in Philosophy
- God in Philosophy
- Religion & Philosophy
- Philosophy in Science
- Intro to Epistemology
- Ancient Epistemology
- Modern Epistemology
- Contemporary Epistemology
- Political Philosophy
- Philosophy & Social Justice
- Studying for Philosophy 101