Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent, as opposed to that which is merely imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence.[1] In physical terms, reality is the totality of the universe, known and unknown. Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition. Ontological questions also feature in diverse branches of philosophy, including the philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophical logic. These include questions about whether only physical objects are real (i.e., Physicalism), whether reality is fundamentally immaterial (e.g., Idealism), whether hypothetical unobservable entities posited by scientific theories exist, whether God exists, whether numbers and other abstract objects exist, and whether possible worlds exist.

Related concepts

World views and theories

A common colloquial usage would have reality mean "perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes toward reality", as in "My reality is not your reality." This is often used just as a colloquialism indicating that the parties to a conversation agree, or should agree, not to quibble over deeply different conceptions of what is real. For example, in a religious discussion between friends, one might say (attempting humor), "You might disagree, but in my reality, everyone goes to heaven."

Reality can be defined in a way that links it to worldviews or parts of them (conceptual frameworks): Reality is the totality of all things, structures (actual and conceptual), events (past and present) and phenomena, whether observable or not. It is what a world view (whether it be based on individual or shared human experience) ultimately attempts to describe or map.

Certain ideas from physics, philosophy, sociology, literary criticism, and other fields shape various theories of reality. One such belief is that there simply and literally is no reality beyond the perceptions or beliefs we each have about reality. Such attitudes are summarized in the popular statement, "Perception is reality" or "Life is how you perceive reality" or "reality is what you can get away with" (Robert Anton Wilson), and they indicate anti-realism – that is, the view that there is no objective reality, whether acknowledged explicitly or not.

Many of the concepts of science and philosophy are often defined culturally and socially. This idea was elaborated by Thomas Kuhn in his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962). The Social Construction of Reality, a book about the sociology of knowledge written by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, was published in 1966. It explained how knowledge is acquired and used for the comprehension of reality. Out of all the realities, the reality of everyday life is the most important one since our consciousness requires us to be completely aware and attentive to the experience of everyday life.

Western philosophy

Philosophy addresses two different aspects of the topic of reality: the nature of reality itself, and the relationship between the mind (as well as language and culture) and reality.

On the one hand, ontology is the study of being, and the central topic of the field is couched, variously, in terms of being, existence, "what is", and reality. The task in ontology is to describe the most general categories of reality and how they are interrelated. If a philosopher wanted to proffer a positive definition of the concept "reality", it would be done under this heading. As explained above, some philosophers draw a distinction between reality and existence. In fact, many analytic philosophers today tend to avoid the term "real" and "reality" in discussing ontological issues. But for those who would treat "is real" the same way they treat "exists", one of the leading questions of analytic philosophy has been whether existence (or reality) is a property of objects. It has been widely held by analytic philosophers that it is not a property at all, though this view has lost some ground in recent decades.

On the other hand, particularly in discussions of objectivity that have feet in both metaphysics and epistemology, philosophical discussions of "reality" often concern the ways in which reality is, or is not, in some way dependent upon (or, to use fashionable jargon, "constructed" out of) mental and cultural factors such as perceptions, beliefs, and other mental states, as well as cultural artifacts, such as religions and political movements, on up to the vague notion of a common cultural world view, or Weltanschauung.

The view that there is a reality independent of any beliefs, perceptions, etc., is called realism. More specifically, philosophers are given to speaking about "realism about" this and that, such as realism about universals or realism about the external world. Generally, where one can identify any class of object, the existence or essential characteristics of which is said not to depend on perceptions, beliefs, language, or any other human artifact, one can speak of "realism about" that object.

One can also speak of anti-realism about the same objects. Anti-realism is the latest in a long series of terms for views opposed to realism. Perhaps the first was idealism, so called because reality was said to be in the mind, or a product of our ideas. Berkeleyan idealism is the view, propounded by the Irish empiricist George Berkeley, that the objects of perception are actually ideas in the mind. In this view, one might be tempted to say that reality is a "mental construct"; this is not quite accurate, however, since, in Berkeley's view, perceptual ideas are created and coordinated by God. By the 20th century, views similar to Berkeley's were called phenomenalism. Phenomenalism differs from Berkeleyan idealism primarily in that Berkeley believed that minds, or souls, are not merely ideas nor made up of ideas, whereas varieties of phenomenalism, such as that advocated by Russell, tended to go farther to say that the mind itself is merely a collection of perceptions, memories, etc., and that there is no mind or soul over and above such mental events. Finally, anti-realism became a fashionable term for any view which held that the existence of some object depends upon the mind or cultural artifacts. The view that the so-called external world is really merely a social, or cultural, artifact, called social constructionism, is one variety of anti-realism. Cultural relativism is the view that social issues such as morality are not absolute, but at least partially cultural artifact.

A correspondence theory of knowledge about what exists claims that "true" knowledge of reality represents accurate correspondence of statements about and images of reality with the actual reality that the statements or images are attempting to represent. For example, the scientific method can verify that a statement is true based on the observable evidence that a thing exists. Many humans can point to the Rocky Mountains and say that this mountain range exists, and continues to exist even if no one is observing it or making statements about it.


The nature of being is a perennial topic in metaphysics. For, instance Parmenides taught that reality was a single unchanging Being, whereas Heraclitus wrote that all things flow. The 20th century philosopher Heidegger thought previous philosophers have lost sight the question of Being (qua Being) in favour of the questions of beings (existing things), so that a return to the Parmenidean approach was needed. An ontological catalogue is an attempt to list the fundamental constituents of reality. The question of whether or not existence is a predicate has been discussed since the Early Modern period, not least in relation to the ontological argument for the existence of God. Existence, that something is, has been contrasted with essence, the question of what something is. Since existence without essence seems blank, it associated with nothingness by philosophers such as Hegel. Nihilism represents an extremely negative view of being, the absolute a positive one.


The question of direct or "naïve" realism, as opposed to indirect or "representational" realism, arises in the philosophy of perception and of mind out of the debate over the nature of conscious experience;[2][3] the epistemological question of whether the world we see around us is the real world itself or merely an internal perceptual copy of that world generated by neural processes in our brain. Naïve realism is known as direct realism when developed to counter indirect or representative realism, also known as epistemological dualism,[4] the philosophical position that our conscious experience is not of the real world itself but of an internal representation, a miniature virtual-reality replica of the world.

Timothy Leary coined the influential term Reality Tunnel, by which he means a kind of representative realism. The theory states that, with a subconscious set of mental filters formed from their beliefs and experiences, every individual interprets the same world differently, hence "Truth is in the eye of the beholder". His ideas influenced the work of his friend Robert Anton Wilson.

Abstract objects and mathematics

The status of abstract entities, particularly numbers, is a topic of discussion in mathematics.

In the philosophy of mathematics, the best known form of realism about numbers is Platonic realism, which grants them abstract, immaterial existence. Other forms of realism identify mathematics with the concrete physical universe.

Anti-realist stances include formalism and fictionalism.

Some approaches are selectively realistic about some mathematical objects but not others. Finitism rejects infinite quantities. Ultra-finitism accepts finite quantities up to a certain amount. Constructivism and intuitionism are realistic about objects that can be explicitly constructed, but reject the use of the principle of the excluded middle to prove existence by reductio ad absurdum.

The traditional debate has focused on whether an abstract (immaterial, intelligible) realm of numbers has existed in addition to the physical (sensible, concrete) world. A recent development is the mathematical universe hypothesis, the theory that only a mathematical world exists, with the finite, physical world being an illusion within it.

An extreme form of realism about mathematics is the mathematical multiverse hypothesis advanced by Max Tegmark. Tegmark's sole postulate is: All structures that exist mathematically also exist physically. That is, in the sense that "in those [worlds] complex enough to contain self-aware substructures [they] will subjectively perceive themselves as existing in a physically 'real' world".[5][6] The hypothesis suggests that worlds corresponding to different sets of initial conditions, physical constants, or altogether different equations should be considered real. The theory can be considered a form of Platonism in that it posits the existence of mathematical entities, but can also be considered a mathematical monism in that it denies that anything exists except mathematical objects.


The problem of universals is an ancient problem in metaphysics about whether universals exist. Universals are general or abstract qualities, characteristics, properties, kinds or relations, such as being male/female, solid/liquid/gas or a certain colour,[7] that can be predicated of individuals or particulars or that individuals or particulars can be regarded as sharing or participating in. For example, Scott, Pat, and Chris have in common the universal quality of being human or humanity.

The realist school claims that universals are real – they exist and are distinct from the particulars that instantiate them. There are various forms of realism. Two major forms are Platonic realism and Aristotelian realism.[8] Platonic realism is the view that universals are real entities and they exist independent of particulars. Aristotelian realism, on the other hand, is the view that universals are real entities, but their existence is dependent on the particulars that exemplify them.

Nominalism and conceptualism are the main forms of anti-realism about universals.

Time and space

A traditional realist position in ontology is that time and space have existence apart from the human mind. Idealists deny or doubt the existence of objects independent of the mind. Some anti-realists whose ontological position is that objects outside the mind do exist, nevertheless doubt the independent existence of time and space.

Kant, in the Critique of Pure Reason, described time as an a priori notion that, together with other a priori notions such as space, allows us to comprehend sense experience. Kant denies that either space or time are substance, entities in themselves, or learned by experience; he holds rather that both are elements of a systematic framework we use to structure our experience. Spatial measurements are used to quantify how far apart objects are, and temporal measurements are used to quantitatively compare the interval between (or duration of) events. Although space and time are held to be transcendentally ideal in this sense, they are also empirically real, i.e. not mere illusions.

Idealist writers such as J. M. E. McTaggart in The Unreality of Time have argued that time is an illusion.

As well as differing about the reality of time as a whole, metaphysical theories of time can differ in their ascriptions of reality to the past, present and future separately.

  • Presentism holds that the past and future are unreal, and only an ever-changing present is real.
  • The block universe theory, also known as Eternalism, holds that past, present and future are all real, but the passage of time is an illusion. It is often said to have a scientific basis in relativity.
  • The growing block universe theory holds that past and present are real, but the future is not.

Time, and the related concepts of process and evolution are central to the system-building metaphysics of A. N. Whitehead and Charles Hartshorne.

Possible worlds

The term "possible world" goes back to Leibniz's theory of possible worlds, used to analyse necessity, possibility, and similar modal notions. Modal realism is the view, notably propounded by David Kellogg Lewis, that all possible worlds are as real as the actual world. In short: the actual world is regarded as merely one among an infinite set of logically possible worlds, some "nearer" to the actual world and some more remote. Other theorists may use the Possible World framework to express and explore problems without committing to it ontologically. Possible world theory is related to alethic logic: a proposition is necessary if it is true in all possible worlds, and possible if it is true in at least one. The many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is a similar idea in science.

Theories of everything (TOE) and philosophy

The philosophical implications of a physical TOE are frequently debated. For example, if philosophical physicalism is true, a physical TOE will coincide with a philosophical theory of everything.

The "system building" style of metaphysics attempts to answer all the important questions in a coherent way, providing a complete picture of the world. Plato and Aristotle could be said to be early examples of comprehensive systems. In the early modern period (17th and 18th centuries), the system-building scope of philosophy is often linked to the rationalist method of philosophy, that is the technique of deducing the nature of the world by pure a priori reason. Examples from the early modern period include the Leibniz's Monadology, Descartes's Dualism, Spinoza's Monism. Hegel's Absolute idealism and Whitehead's Process philosophy were later systems.

Other philosophers do not believe its techniques can aim so high. Some scientists think a more mathematical approach than philosophy is needed for a TOE, for instance Stephen Hawking wrote in A Brief History of Time that even if we had a TOE, it would necessarily be a set of equations. He wrote, "What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?"[9]

Phenomenological reality

On a much broader and more subjective level, private experiences, curiosity, inquiry, and the selectivity involved in personal interpretation of events shapes reality as seen by one and only one individual and hence is called phenomenological. While this form of reality might be common to others as well, it could at times also be so unique to oneself as to never be experienced or agreed upon by anyone else. Much of the kind of experience deemed spiritual occurs on this level of reality.

Phenomenology is a philosophical method developed in the early years of the twentieth century by Edmund Husserl and a circle of followers at the universities of Göttingen and Munich in Germany. Subsequently, phenomenological themes were taken up by philosophers in France, the United States, and elsewhere, often in contexts far removed from Husserl's work.

The word phenomenology comes from the Greek phainómenon, meaning "that which appears", and lógos, meaning "study". In Husserl's conception, phenomenology is primarily concerned with making the structures of consciousness, and the phenomena which appear in acts of consciousness, objects of systematic reflection and analysis. Such reflection was to take place from a highly modified "first person" viewpoint, studying phenomena not as they appear to "my" consciousness, but to any consciousness whatsoever. Husserl believed that phenomenology could thus provide a firm basis for all human knowledge, including scientific knowledge, and could establish philosophy as a "rigorous science".[10]

Husserl's conception of phenomenology has been criticised and developed not only by himself, but also by his student and assistant Martin Heidegger, by existentialists, such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Jean-Paul Sartre, and by other philosophers, such as Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Levinas, and Dietrich von Hildebrand.[11]

Skeptical hypotheses

A brain in a vat that believes it is walking

Skeptical hypotheses in philosophy suggest that reality is very different from what we think it is; or at least that we cannot prove it is not. Examples include:

Jain philosophy

Jain philosophy postulates that seven tattva (truths or fundamental principles) constitute reality.[12] These seven tattva are:[13]

  1. Jīva – The soul which is characterized by consciousness.
  2. Ajīva – The non-soul.
  3. Asrava – Influx of karma.
  4. Bandha – The bondage of karma.
  5. Samvara – Obstruction of the inflow of karmic matter into the soul.
  6. Nirjara – Shedding of karmas.
  7. Moksha – Liberation or Salvation, i.e. the complete annihilation of all karmic matter (bound with any particular soul).

Physical sciences

Scientific realism

Scientific realism is, at the most general level, the view that the world described by science (perhaps ideal science) is the real world, as it is, independent of what we might take it to be. Within philosophy of science, it is often framed as an answer to the question "how is the success of science to be explained?" The debate over what the success of science involves centers primarily on the status of entities that are not directly observable discussed by scientific theories. Generally, those who are scientific realists state that one can make reliable claims about these entities (viz., that they have the same ontological status) as directly observable entities, as opposed to instrumentalism. The most used and studied scientific theories today state more or less the truth.

Realism and locality in physics

Realism in the sense used by physicists does not equate to realism in metaphysics.[14] The latter is the claim that the world is mind-independent: that even if the results of a measurement do not pre-exist the act of measurement, that does not require that they are the creation of the observer. Furthermore, a mind-independent property does not have to be the value of some physical variable such as position or momentum. A property can be dispositional (or potential), i.e. it can be a tendency: in the way that glass objects tend to break, or are disposed to break, even if they do not actually break. Likewise, the mind-independent properties of quantum systems could consist of a tendency to respond to particular measurements with particular values with ascertainable probability.[15] Such an ontology would be metaphysically realistic, without being realistic in the physicist's sense of "local realism" (which would require that a single value be produced with certainty).

A closely related term is counterfactual definiteness (CFD), used to refer to the claim that one can meaningfully speak of the definiteness of results of measurements that have not been performed (i.e. the ability to assume the existence of objects, and properties of objects, even when they have not been measured).

Local realism is a significant feature of classical mechanics, of general relativity, and of electrodynamics; but quantum mechanics has shown that quantum entanglement is possible. This was rejected by Einstein, who proposed the EPR paradox, but it was subsequently quantified by Bell's inequalities.[16] If Bell's inequalities are violated, either local realism or counterfactual definiteness must be incorrect; but some physicists dispute that experiments have demonstrated Bell's violations, on the grounds that the sub-class of inhomogeneous Bell inequalities has not been tested or due to experimental limitations in the tests. Different interpretations of quantum mechanics violate different parts of local realism and/or counterfactual definiteness.

Role of the observer in quantum mechanics

The quantum mind–body problem refers to the philosophical discussions of the mind–body problem in the context of quantum mechanics. Since quantum mechanics involves quantum superpositions, which are not perceived by observers, some interpretations of quantum mechanics place conscious observers in a special position.

The founders of quantum mechanics debated the role of the observer, and of them, Wolfgang Pauli and Werner Heisenberg believed that it was the observer that produced collapse. This point of view, which was never fully endorsed by Niels Bohr, was denounced as mystical and anti-scientific by Albert Einstein. Pauli accepted the term, and described quantum mechanics as lucid mysticism.[17]

Heisenberg and Bohr always described quantum mechanics in logical positivist terms. Bohr also took an active interest in the philosophical implications of quantum theories such as his complementarity, for example.[18] He believed quantum theory offers a complete description of nature, albeit one that is simply ill-suited for everyday experiences – which are better described by classical mechanics and probability. Bohr never specified a demarcation line above which objects cease to be quantum and become classical. He believed that it was not a question of physics, but one of philosophy.

Eugene Wigner reformulated the "Schrödinger's cat" thought experiment as "Wigner's friend" and proposed that the consciousness of an observer is the demarcation line which precipitates collapse of the wave function, independent of any realist interpretation. Commonly known as "consciousness causes collapse", this interpretation of quantum mechanics states that observation by a conscious observer is what makes the wave function collapse.


The multiverse is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them. The term was coined in 1895 by the American philosopher and psychologist William James.[19] In the many-worlds interpretation (MWI), one of the mainstream interpretations of quantum mechanics, there are an infinite number of universes and every possible quantum outcome occurs in at least one universe.

The structure of the multiverse, the nature of each universe within it and the relationship between the various constituent universes, depend on the specific multiverse hypothesis considered. Multiverses have been hypothesized in cosmology, physics, astronomy, religion, philosophy, transpersonal psychology and fiction, particularly in science fiction and fantasy. In these contexts, parallel universes are also called "alternative universes", "quantum universes", "interpenetrating dimensions", "parallel dimensions", "parallel worlds", "alternative realities", "alternative timelines", and "dimensional planes", among others.

Scientific theories of everything

A theory of everything (TOE) is a putative theory of theoretical physics that fully explains and links together all known physical phenomena, and predicts the outcome of any experiment that could be carried out in principle. The theory of everything is also called the final theory.[20] Many candidate theories of everything have been proposed by theoretical physicists during the twentieth century, but none have been confirmed experimentally. The primary problem in producing a TOE is that general relativity and quantum mechanics are hard to unify. This is one of the unsolved problems in physics.

Initially, the term "theory of everything" was used with an ironic connotation to refer to various overgeneralized theories. For example, a great-grandfather of Ijon Tichy, a character from a cycle of Stanisław Lem's science fiction stories of the 1960s, was known to work on the "General Theory of Everything". Physicist John Ellis[21] claims to have introduced the term into the technical literature in an article in Nature in 1986.[22] Over time, the term stuck in popularizations of quantum physics to describe a theory that would unify or explain through a single model the theories of all fundamental interactions and of all particles of nature: general relativity for gravitation, and the standard model of elementary particle physics – which includes quantum mechanics – for electromagnetism, the two nuclear interactions, and the known elementary particles.

Current candidates for a theory of everything include string theory, M theory, and loop quantum gravity.


Virtual reality and cyberspace

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-simulated environment that can simulate physical presence in places in the real world, as well as in imaginary worlds.

Virtuality Continuum 2
Reality-Virtuality Continuum.

The Virtuality Continuum is a continuous scale ranging between the completely virtual, a Virtuality, and the completely real: Reality. The reality-virtuality continuum therefore encompasses all possible variations and compositions of real and virtual objects. It has been described as a concept in new media and computer science, but in fact it could be considered a matter of anthropology. The concept was first introduced by Paul Milgram.[23]

The area between the two extremes, where both the real and the virtual are mixed, is the so-called Mixed reality. This in turn is said to consist of both Augmented Reality, where the virtual augments the real, and Augmented virtuality, where the real augments the virtual. Cyberspace, the world's computer systems considered as an interconnected whole, can be thought of as a virtual reality; for instance, it is portrayed as such in the cyberpunk fiction of William Gibson and others. Second life and MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft are examples of artificial environments or virtual worlds (falling some way short of full virtual reality) in cyberspace.

"RL" in internet culture

On the Internet, "real life" refers to life in the real world. It generally references life or consensus reality, in contrast to an environment seen as fiction or fantasy, such as virtual reality, lifelike experience, dreams, novels, or movies. Online, the acronym "IRL" stands for "in real life", with the meaning "not on the Internet".[24] Sociologists engaged in the study of the Internet have determined that someday, a distinction between online and real-life worlds may seem "quaint", noting that certain types of online activity, such as sexual intrigues, have already made a full transition to complete legitimacy and "reality".[25] The abbreviation "RL" stands for "real life". For example, one can speak of "meeting in RL" someone whom one has met in a chat or on an Internet forum. It may also be used to express an inability to use the Internet for a time due to "RL problems".

See also


  1. ^ "reality | Definition of reality in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2017-10-28.
  2. ^ Lehar, Steve. (2000). The Function of Conscious Experience: An Analogical Paradigm of Perception and Behavior, Consciousness and Cognition.
  3. ^ Lehar, Steve. (2000). Naïve Realism in Contemporary Philosophy Archived 2012-08-11 at the Wayback Machine, The Function of Conscious Experience.
  4. ^ Lehar, Steve. Representationalism Archived 2012-09-05 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Tegmark, Max (February 2008). "The Mathematical Universe". Foundations of Physics. 38 (2): 101–150. arXiv:0704.0646. Bibcode:2008FoPh...38..101T. doi:10.1007/s10701-007-9186-9.
  6. ^ Tegmark (1998), p. 1.
  7. ^ Loux (2001), p. 4
  8. ^ Price (1953), among others, sometimes uses such Latin terms
  9. ^ as quoted in [Artigas, The Mind of the Universe, p.123]
  10. ^ Joseph Kockelmans (2001). Edmund Husserl's phenomenology (2 ed.). Purdue University Press. pp. 311–314. ISBN 1-55753-050-5.
  11. ^ Steven Galt Crowell (2001). Husserl, Heidegger, and the space of meaning: paths toward transcendental phenomenology. Northwestern University Press. p. 160. ISBN 0-8101-1805-X.
  12. ^ S.A. Jain 1992, p. 6.
  13. ^ S.A. Jain 1992, p. 7.
  14. ^ Norsen, Travis (26 February 2007). "Against `Realism'". Foundations of Physics. 37 (3): 311–340. arXiv:quant-ph/0607057. Bibcode:2007FoPh...37..311N. doi:10.1007/s10701-007-9104-1.
  15. ^ Thompson, Ian. "Generative Science".
  16. ^ "Local realism and the crucial experiment".
  17. ^ Juan Miguel Marin (2009). "'Mysticism' in quantum mechanics: the forgotten controversy". European Journal of Physics. 30 (4): 807–822. Bibcode:2009EJPh...30..807M. doi:10.1088/0143-0807/30/4/014. link, summarized here [1] Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ John Honner (2005). "Niels Bohr and the Mysticism of Nature". Zygon: Journal of Religion & Science. 17–3: 243–253.
  19. ^ James, William, The Will to Believe, 1895; and earlier in 1895, as cited in OED's new 2003 entry for "multiverse": "1895 W. JAMES in Internat. Jrnl. Ethics 6 10 Visible nature is all plasticity and indifference, a multiverse, as one might call it, and not a universe."
  20. ^ Weinberg (1993)
  21. ^ Ellis, John (2002). "Physics gets physical (correspondence)". Nature. 415 (6875): 957. Bibcode:2002Natur.415..957E. doi:10.1038/415957b. PMID 11875539.
  22. ^ Ellis, John (1986). "The Superstring: Theory of Everything, or of Nothing?". Nature. 323 (6089): 595–598. Bibcode:1986Natur.323..595E. doi:10.1038/323595a0.
  23. ^ Milgram, Paul; H. Takemura; A. Utsumi; F. Kishino (1994). "Augmented Reality: A class of displays on the reality-virtuality continuum" (PDF). Proceedings of Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies. pp. 2351–34. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-10-04. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
  24. ^ " search for IRL".
  25. ^ Don Slater (2002). "Social Relationships and Identity On-line and Off-line". In Leah, Sonia, Lievrouw, and Livingstone. Handbook of New Media: Social Shaping and Consequences of ICTs. Sage Publications Inc. pp. 533–543. ISBN 0-7619-6510-6.CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)


  • Berger, Peter L.; Luckmann, Thomas (1966). The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Anchor Books. pp. 21–22.
  • Jain, S. A. (1992). Reality. Jwalamalini Trust. Archived from the original on 2015. Not in Copyright

External links

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real-world are "augmented" by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory. The overlaid sensory information can be constructive (i.e. additive to the natural environment) or destructive (i.e. masking of the natural environment) and is seamlessly interwoven with the physical world such that it is perceived as an immersive aspect of the real environment. In this way, augmented reality alters one's ongoing perception of a real-world environment, whereas virtual reality completely replaces the user's real-world environment with a simulated one. Augmented reality is related to two largely synonymous terms: mixed reality and computer-mediated reality.

The primary value of augmented reality is that it brings components of the digital world into a person's perception of the real world, and does so not as a simple display of data, but through the integration of immersive sensations that are perceived as natural parts of an environment. The first functional AR systems that provided immersive mixed reality experiences for users were invented in the early 1990s, starting with the Virtual Fixtures system developed at the U.S. Air Force's Armstrong Laboratory in 1992. The first commercial augmented reality experiences were used largely in the entertainment and gaming businesses, but now other industries are also getting interested about AR's possibilities for example in knowledge sharing, educating, managing the information flood and organizing distant meetings. Augmented reality is also transforming the world of education, where content may be accessed by scanning or viewing an image with a mobile device or by bringing immersive, markerless AR experiences to the classroom. Another example is an AR helmet for construction workers which display information about the construction sites.

Augmented reality is used to enhance natural environments or situations and offer perceptually enriched experiences. With the help of advanced AR technologies (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Information about the environment and its objects is overlaid on the real world. This information can be virtual or real, e.g. seeing other real sensed or measured information such as electromagnetic radio waves overlaid in exact alignment with where they actually are in space. Augmented reality also has a lot of potential in the gathering and sharing of tacit knowledge. Augmentation techniques are typically performed in real time and in semantic context with environmental elements. Immersive perceptual information is sometimes combined with supplemental information like scores over a live video feed of a sporting event. This combines the benefits of both augmented reality technology and heads up display technology (HUD).

De jure

In law and government, de jure (; Latin: de iure, lit. 'in law' Latin pronunciation: [deː juːre]) describes practices that are legally recognised, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, de facto ("in fact" or "in practice") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally recognised. The terms are often used to contrast different scenarios: for a colloquial example, "I know that, de jure, this is supposed to be a parking lot, but now that the flood has left four feet of water here, it's a de facto swimming pool". To further explain, even if the signs around the flooded parking lot say "Parking Lot" (the signs effectively being the "law" determining what it is) it is "in fact" a swimming pool (with the water, the current practical circumstances, determining what it is).

Gary Busey

William Gary Busey (; born June 29, 1944) is an American actor. A prolific character actor, Busey has appeared in over 150 films, including Lethal Weapon (1987), Predator 2 (1990), Point Break (1991), Under Siege (1992), The Firm (1993), Carried Away (1996), Black Sheep (1996), Lost Highway (1997), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), The Gingerdead Man (2005), Quigley (2003), and Piranha 3DD (2012). Busey also made guest appearances on television shows such as Gunsmoke, Walker, Texas Ranger, Law & Order, Scrubs, Suits, and Entourage.

For portraying Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story (1978), Busey was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor.

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum (pronounced [ˈhaɪ̯diː ˈklʊm]; born 1 June 1973) is a German-American model, television personality, businesswoman, fashion designer, singer, television producer, author, and actress. She appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and in 1999 was the first German model to become a Victoria's Secret Angel.

Following a successful modeling career, Klum became the host and a judge of Germany's Next Topmodel and the reality show Project Runway which earned her an Emmy nomination in 2008 and a win in 2013 for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program (shared with co-host Tim Gunn); Klum has been nominated for six Emmy Awards. She has worked as a spokesmodel for Dannon and H&M, and has appeared in numerous commercials for McDonald's, Volkswagen and others. In 2009, Klum became Barbie's official ambassador on Barbie's 50th anniversary. As an occasional actress, she had supporting roles in movies including Blow Dry (2001), Ella Enchanted (2004), and made cameo appearances in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and Perfect Stranger (2007). She has also appeared on TV shows including Sex and the City, How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives and Parks and Recreation. From 2013 until 2019, Klum has been a judge on the NBC reality show America's Got Talent and America's Got Talent: The Champions

In May 2011, Forbes magazine estimated Klum's total earnings for that year as US$20 million. She was ranked second on Forbes' list of the "World's Top-Earning Models". Forbes noted that since ending her 13-year run as a Victoria's Secret Angel, Klum has become more of a businesswoman than a model. In 2008, she became an American citizen while maintaining her native German citizenship.

Infinity Gems

The Infinity Gems (originally referred to as Soul Gems and later as Infinity Stones) are six gems appearing in Marvel Comics. The six gems are the Mind, Soul, Space, Power, Time and Reality Gems. In later storylines, crossovers and other media, a seventh gem has also been included. The Gems have been used by various characters in the Marvel Universe.

The Gems play a prominent role in the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where they are referred to as the Infinity Stones.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Keeping Up with the Kardashians (often abbreviated KUWTK) is an American reality television series that airs on the E! cable network. The show focuses on the personal and professional lives of the Kardashian–Jenner blended family. Its premise originated with Ryan Seacrest, who also serves as an executive producer. The series debuted on October 14, 2007 and has subsequently become one of the longest-running reality television series in the country. The fifteenth season premiered on August 5, 2018.The series focuses mainly on sisters Kourtney, Kim, and Khloé Kardashian and their half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner. It also features their parents Kris and Caitlyn Jenner (previously known as Bruce Jenner), and brother Rob Kardashian. The significant others of the Kardashian sisters have also appeared on the show, including Kourtney's ex-boyfriend Scott Disick, Kim's ex-husband Kris Humphries, and current husband Kanye West, Khloé's ex-husband Lamar Odom, ex-boyfriend French Montana, and current fiance Tristan Thompson. Caitlyn's son Brody Jenner made appearances in the early seasons, before appearing regularly between the 8th and 11th seasons, along with brother Brandon and Brandon's wife Leah. Kim's friend Jonathan Cheban and Khloé's friend Malika Haqq have also been part of the show.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians has received very poor critical reviews since its premiere. It is often criticized for the high degree of emphasis on the "famous for being famous" concept, and for appearing to fabricate some aspects of its storylines. Several critics also noted the show's lack of intelligence. However, some critics recognized the reality series as a "guilty pleasure" and acknowledged the family's success. Despite the negative reviews, Keeping Up with the Kardashians has attracted high viewership ratings, becoming one of the network's most successful shows and winning several audience awards.

The series' success has led additionally to the creation of numerous spin-off series, including: Kourtney and Kim Take Miami, Kourtney and Kim Take New York, Khloé & Lamar, Kourtney and Khloé Take The Hamptons, Dash Dolls, Rob & Chyna, and Life of Kylie. The network has also broadcast several television specials featuring special events involving members of the family and friends.

Kim Kardashian

Kimberly Noel Kardashian West (; born October 21, 1980) is an American media personality, entrepreneur, socialite, model, and actress. Kardashian first gained media attention as a friend and stylist of Paris Hilton, but received wider notice after a 2003 sex tape with her former boyfriend Ray J was leaked in 2007. Later that year, she and her family began to appear in the E! reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Its success soon led to the creation of spin-offs including Kourtney and Kim Take New York and Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami.In recent years, Kardashian has grown an online and social media presence, including tens of millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram. She has released a variety of products tied to her name, including the 2014 mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a variety of clothing and products, the 2015 photo book Selfish and her eponymous personal app. Her relationship with rapper Kanye West has also received significant media coverage; the couple married in 2014 and they have three children together.Time magazine included Kardashian on their list of 2015's 100 most influential people, while Vogue described her in 2016 as a "pop culture phenomenon." Critics and admirers have described her as exemplifying the notion of being famous for being famous. She was reported to be the highest-paid reality television personality of 2015, with her total earnings exceeding US$53 million.

Kourtney Kardashian

Kourtney Mary Kardashian (born April 18, 1979) is an American television personality, socialite, businesswoman and model. In 2007, she and her family were picked to star in the reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Its success led to the creation of spin-offs including Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami and Kourtney and Kim Take New York.With sisters Kim and Khloé, Kourtney is involved in the retail and fashion industries. They have launched several clothing collections and fragrances, and additionally released the book Kardashian Konfidential in 2010.

Kourtney and her siblings are popular on social media from which they derive most of their revenue by endorsing products such as waist slimming pants, beauty products, Coca-Cola and prescription drugs, for which they are paid (as of 2016) between $75,000 and $300,000 per post on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as per CBC Marketplace.

Kris Jenner

Kristen Mary Jenner (née Houghton HOH-tən, formerly Kardashian; born November 5, 1955) is an American television personality, entertainment manager, producer, businesswoman, and author. She rose to fame starring in the reality television series, Keeping Up with the Kardashians (2007–present).

She has four children from her first marriage to lawyer Robert Kardashian: Kourtney, Kim, Khloé and Robert, and two children from her second marriage to television personality and retired Olympic Games medalist, Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn): Kendall and Kylie.

La Toya Jackson

La Toya Yvone Jackson (born May 29, 1956) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman and television personality. The fifth child of the Jackson family, Jackson first gained recognition on the family's variety television series, The Jacksons, on CBS between 1976 and 1977. Thereafter, she saw success as a solo recording artist under multiple record labels in the 1980s and 1990s, including Polydor, Sony Music and RCA, where she released nine studio albums over the course of fifteen years. Her most successful releases in the United States were her self-titled debut album (1980) and the 1984 single "Heart Don't Lie". Jackson's other songs include "If You Feel the Funk", "Bet'cha Gonna Need My Lovin'", "Hot Potato", "You're Gonna Get Rocked!" and "Sexbox".

Jackson's recording career began its decline in the 1990s as a result of her controversial marriage to her entertainment manager Jack Gordon, whom she was allegedly forced to marry against her will. Amid erratic behavior on Jackson's part and widely publicized claims by the Jackson family that Gordon had brainwashed her against them, her career was significantly impacted under his management. Jackson and Gordon divorced in 1997 and after a period of public seclusion, she returned to the music industry in 2004 with the singles "Just Wanna Dance" and "Free the World", which saw success on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in the United States. In 2011, she was a contestant on the fourth installment of The Celebrity Apprentice and released an extended play, Starting Over, which is her most recent release to date. From 2013 to 2014, Jackson appeared in her own reality television series on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Life with La Toya, which aired for two seasons.

List of British television programmes

This is a list of British television programmes. It does not include foreign-made imports.

Primetime Emmy Award

The Primetime Emmy Award is an American award bestowed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS) in recognition of excellence in American primetime television programming. First given out in 1949, the award was originally referred to as simply the "Emmy Awards" until the first Daytime Emmy Award ceremony was held in 1974 and the word "prime time" was added to distinguish between the two.

The Primetime Emmy Awards generally air in mid-September, on the Sunday before the official start of the fall television season. They are currently seen in rotation among the four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox). The ceremony is typically moved to late-August if it is broadcast by NBC (such as in 2006, 2010, and 2014), so that it does not conflict with NBC's commitment to broadcasting Sunday-night NFL games (due to another conflict, this time with the MTV Video Music Awards, the 2014 ceremony was also shifted to a Monday). However, the 2018 ceremony, to be broadcast by NBC, was moved back to September and aired on a Monday.

They are considered television's equivalent to the Academy Awards (film), Grammy Awards (music), and Tony Awards (theater). The awards are divided into three categories: Primetime Emmy Awards, Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, and Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards.

Reality television

Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents supposedly unscripted real-life situations, and often features an otherwise unknown cast of individuals who are typically not professional actors. Reality television exploded as a phenomenon in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the global success of the series Survivor, Idols, and Big Brother. These shows and a number of others (usually also competition-based) became global franchises, spawning local versions in dozens of countries. The genre has various standard tropes, including "confessionals", or interview segments, used by cast members to express their thoughts, which often double as the shows' narration. In competition-based reality shows, there are other common elements, such as one participant being eliminated per episode, a panel of judges, and the concept of immunity from elimination.

There are grey areas around what is classified as reality television. Documentaries, television news, sports television, talk shows, and traditional game shows are not classified as reality television, even though they contain elements of the genre, such as unscripted situations and sometimes unknown participants. Other genres that predate the reality television boom have sometimes been retroactively grouped into reality TV, including hidden camera shows, talent-search shows, documentary series about ordinary people, high-concept game shows, home improvement shows, and court shows featuring real-life cases.

Reality television has faced significant criticism since its rise in popularity. Much of the criticism has centered on the use of the word "reality", and such shows' attempts to present themselves as a straightforward recounting of events that have occurred. Critics argue reality television shows do not accurately reflect reality, in ways both implicit (participants being placed in artificial situations), and deceptive (misleading editing, participants being coached on behavior, storylines generated ahead of time, scenes being staged). Some have been accused of rigging the favorite, or underdog to win. Other criticisms of reality television shows include that they are intended to humiliate or exploit participants; that they make stars out of either untalented people unworthy of fame, infamous personalities, or both; and that they glamorize vulgarity and materialism.

RuPaul's Drag Race

RuPaul's Drag Race is an American reality competition television series produced by World of Wonder for Logo TV and, beginning with the ninth season, VH1. The show documents RuPaul in the search for "America's next drag superstar." RuPaul plays the role of host, mentor, and head judge for this series, as contestants are given different challenges each week. RuPaul's Drag Race employs a panel of judges, including RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Ross Mathews, Carson Kressley, and a host of other guest judges, who critique contestants' progress throughout the competition. The title of the show is a play on drag queen and drag racing, and the title sequence and song "Drag Race" both have a drag-racing theme.

RuPaul's Drag Race has spanned ten seasons and inspired the spin-off shows RuPaul's Drag U and RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars. The show has become the highest-rated television program on Logo TV, and airs internationally, including in Australia, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, and Israel. The show earned RuPaul three consecutive Emmys (2016 to 2018) for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program. The show itself was awarded as a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program in 2018 and the Outstanding Reality Program award at the 21st GLAAD Media Awards. It has been nominated for four Critics' Choice Television Award including Best Reality Series – Competition and Best Reality Show Host for RuPaul, and was nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Make-up for a Multi-Camera Series or Special (Non-Prosthetic). Later in 2018, the show became the first show to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program in the same year.

Social constructionism

Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality. The theory centers on the notion that meanings are developed in coordination with others rather than separately within each individual.Social constructionism questions what is defined by humans and society to be reality. Therefore, social constructs can be different based on the society and the events surrounding the time period in which they exist. An example of a social construct is money or the concept of currency, as people in society have agreed to give it importance/ value. Another example of a social construction is the concept of self/ self-identity. Charles Cooley stated based on his Looking-Glass-Self theory: "I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am." This demonstrates how people in society construct ideas or concepts that may not exist without the existence of people or language to validate those concepts.There are weak and strong social constructs. Weak social constructs rely on brute facts (which are fundamental facts that are difficult to explain or understand, such as quarks) or institutional facts (which are formed from social conventions). Strong social constructs rely on the human perspective and knowledge that does not just exist, but is rather constructed by society.

Survivor (U.S. TV series)

Survivor is the American version of the international Survivor reality competition television franchise, itself derived from the Swedish television series Expedition Robinson created by Charlie Parsons which premiered in 1997. The American series premiered on May 31, 2000, on CBS. It is hosted by television personality Jeff Probst, who is also an executive producer along with Mark Burnett and original creator, Parsons.

The television show places a group of strangers in an isolated location, where they must provide food, fire, and shelter for themselves. The contestants compete in challenges for rewards and immunity from elimination. The contestants are progressively eliminated from the game as they are voted out by their fellow contestants, until only one remains and is given the title of "Sole Survivor" and is awarded the grand prize of US$1,000,000.

The American version has been very successful. From the 2000–01 through the 2005–06 television seasons, its first eleven seasons (competitions) rated among the top ten most watched shows. It is commonly considered the leader of American reality TV because it was the first highly rated and profitable reality show on broadcast television in the U.S., and is considered one of the best shows of the 2000s (decade). The series has been nominated for several Emmy Awards, including winning for Outstanding Sound Mixing in 2001, Outstanding Special Class Program in 2002, and was subsequently nominated four times for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program when the category was introduced in 2003. Jeff Probst won the award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program four consecutive times after the award was introduced in 2008. In 2007, the series was included in Time magazine's list of the 100 greatest TV shows of all-time. In 2013, TV Guide ranked it at #39 on its list of the "60 Best Series of All Time".On April 18, 2018, CBS renewed the series for a 37th and 38th season. The 37th season, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, premiered on September 26, 2018. Season 38, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, premiered on February 20, 2019.

Terry Crews

Terry Alan Crews (born July 30, 1968) is an American actor, activist, artist, and former American football player. Crews played Julius Rock on the UPN/CW sitcom Everybody Hates Chris and Nick Kingston-Persons in the TBS sitcom Are We There Yet? He previously hosted the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and starred in the BET reality series The Family Crews. He appeared in films such as Friday After Next (2002), White Chicks (2004), Idiocracy (2006), and the Expendables series. Since 2013, he has played NYPD Sergeant Terry Jeffords in the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He is currently set to host America's Got Talent in 2019, following his involvement in the same role for the program's spin-off series America's Got Talent: The Champions from January 2019.

Crews played as a defensive end and linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, and Washington Redskins, as well as in the World League of American Football with Rhein Fire, and college football at Western Michigan University.

Crews, a public advocate for women's rights and activist against sexism, has shared stories of the abuse his family endured at the hands of his violent father. He was included among the group of people named as Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 2017 for going public with stories of sexual assault.

The Bachelor (U.S. TV series)

The Bachelor is an American dating and relationship reality television series that debuted on March 25, 2002 on ABC. The show is hosted by Chris Harrison. The show's success has resulted in several spin-offs including The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad, Bachelor in Paradise, Bachelor in Paradise: After Paradise, and The Bachelor Winter Games.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) is an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment. It incorporates mainly auditory and visual feedback, but may also allow other types of sensory feedback like haptic. This immersive environment can be similar to the real world or it can be fantastical. Augmented reality systems may also be considered a form of VR that layers virtual information over a live camera feed into a headset or through a smartphone or tablet device giving the user the ability to view three-dimensional images.

Current VR technology most commonly uses virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments, sometimes in combination with physical environments or props, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user's physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment. A person using virtual reality equipment is able to "look around" the artificial world, move around in it, and interact with virtual features or items. The effect is commonly created by VR headsets consisting of a head-mounted display with a small screen in front of the eyes, but can also be created through specially designed rooms with multiple large screens.

VR systems that include transmission of vibrations and other sensations to the user through a game controller or other devices are known as haptic systems. This tactile information is generally known as force feedback video gaming and training applications.

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