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The Relation between Appearance and Reality - Term Paper Example

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The Relation between Appearance and Reality

These two aspects are normative and positive respectively and a number of philosophers like Locke, Berkeley and Descartes have written about them as their main areas of focus in order to decipher what is appearing to be and what actually is in reality. This paper helps to provide an insight into the realms of appearance and reality with respect to the works of the above mentioned philosophers and how their theories and ideas have actually compelled the world today to think in a certain manner. The main reason behind which one actually began to understand a demarcation between appearance and reality is misleading situations in everyday life. Human beings have a vast imagination which can take them to places; however this same imagination leads them into thinking things that may not actually exist. For example, emotions like fear and terror are created in the minds of people. Fear of the dark or the unknown is something that most people possess as a natural instinct however, the fact of the matter remains that the fear is simply something that appears to be and does not exist in reality because the fear has been planted by someone or something else most of the time rather than arising out of some situation. There are times when people assume things and circumstances and end up realising that whatever happened did not actually take place, but it simply seemed to be a certain way. Reality is that aspect of life that people are actually living in the present. It is not easy for a man to be living in the reality without getting ideas about what to do next. Thus, arises the aspect of ideas and perception of the near future which gives rise to appearances. Appearance is something that seems to be or something that a person might think the actual situation consists of, but it is not in reality. Taking the example of God as an omnipresent being, most people believe in God however He does not actually exist because people have not seen Him or felt His presence. However, when people say that they have seen Him or felt Him with them, which is the faith that has made His presence appear in front of them. This is a very good example of the distinction between reality and appearances that most philosophers have chanced upon in order to explain the difference. Furthermore, the ideas of Locke, Berkeley and Descartes have been explained in tandem with each other. According to Locke, a representational view of the mind was what was required by philosophers in order to understand the concept of appearance and reality. He stated that the mind is simply a tool box like structure that has access to ideas, thoughts, ideologies and simple representations or manifestations of thoughts and the reality that takes place where the representations are transferred by a matter of an epithet, does not provide access to the mind thus posing the mind to be like a veil. The doctrine of the ‘veil of appearance’ given by him states that all knowledge that man has is confined to one side of the veil, the side where everything appears to be. The reality that actually is beyond the veil, or the other side of the veil, is not accessible to human beings. Descartes and Berkeley, in European philosophy, also aimed to combat the idea of scepticism with ...Show more


Name 14 October 2011 Appearance and Reality Bertrand Russell writes, “Philosophy, if it cannot answer so many questions as we could wish, has at least the power of asking questions which increase the interest of the world, and show the strangeness and wonder lying just below the surface even in the commonest things of daily life.” Appearance and reality have always held a very vital thought in the minds of most philosophers because of the sheer thin line between the two aspects of life…
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