Philosophy 308 “Metaphysics: What is Reality.” Most of us think we have a good idea about what is real and what isn’t. Cars, cabbages, and canaries fall into one category, and time machines, Tinkerbell, and talking sandwiches belong to another. But what makes something real? And are all real things real in the same way, or to the same degree? Many of us believe in both nonphysical minds and physical bodies, and most of us would say that if you are hungry, it’s far better to have an ice cream sundae than a mirror image of one. We thus seem committed to the view that things can exist in profoundly different ways and that realness come in degrees. But just what do such claims amount to, and why think they are true? This course explores answers to these and related questions by considering whether time and space are illusions, what kind of existence (if any) color has, the nature of persons and personal identity, and whether freedom is imaginary.
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