Reality: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Nov 24, 2011 - Philosophy - 123 pages
'What is real?' has been one of the key questions of philosophy since its beginning in antiquity. It is a question that, due to such films as The Matrix, has also made its way into popular culture. But it is not just a question philosophers ask. It is also asked by scientists when they investigate whether the fundamental constituents of matter are actually 'out there' or just a mere abstraction from a successful theory. Cognitive scientists ask it when trying to find out which set of the bewildering array of data processed by our brain could constitute the basis for such supposedly fundamental entities like the free agent or the self. This Very Short Introduction discusses what reality is by looking at a variety of arguments, theories and thought-experiments from philosophy, physics, and cognitive science. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
 

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(NOTE: I read the Kindle version of this book.) There are as many theories of reality as there are philosophers. That much said, one would expect from an introductory text an attempt to summarize the ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
Dreams and simulations
3
Is matter real?
30
Are persons real?
56
Is time real?
81
Concluding remarks
106
References and further reading
111
Publishers acknowledgements
120
Index
121
A Very Short Introduction
124
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About the author (2011)

Jan Westerhoff read Philosophy and Oriental Studies at the universities of Cambridge and London. He is currently Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Durham.

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