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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping it Real
Oftentimes the simplest ideas and concepts are the ones that are hardest to understand. This is certainly true with the concept of "reality." In our everyday lives we take it for granted, and even in most professional and scientific contexts this is an almost entirely unproblematic term. However, when we push against the frontiers of our knowledge, as is the case in many...
Published on 8 Feb. 2012 by Dr. Bojan Tunguz

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars oh well
In reality I didn't like this book
but the good news is it was very short.

Too much mental hokum and not enough relativity and
quantum malarkey.
Published 18 months ago by Mr. G. Hardy


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping it Real, 8 Feb. 2012
By 
Dr. Bojan Tunguz (Indiana, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Oftentimes the simplest ideas and concepts are the ones that are hardest to understand. This is certainly true with the concept of "reality." In our everyday lives we take it for granted, and even in most professional and scientific contexts this is an almost entirely unproblematic term. However, when we push against the frontiers of our knowledge, as is the case in many subfields of physics, psychology, and philosophy, we quickly encounter situations where "reality" has to have a very precise technical meaning if we want to understand some of the most fundamental phenomena of the world that we live in. "Reality: A Very Short Introduction" tackles many such exceptionally tricky consideration, and brings the ideas from the forefront of science and philosophy to the general audience.

In relatively few pages, this very short introduction manages to bring forth some of the most enduring problems that have stymied philosophers, scientists, and other thinkers for centuries. The book is divided into four chapters, each of which addresses one aspect of our understanding of reality. The chapters are: 1. Dreams and simulations, 2. Is matter real?, 3. Are persons real?, 4. Is time real? These chapters provide a general overview of the topics that have framed our discussion about reality. The author relies on variety of disciplines for his assertions and findings, but the primary source of ideas about reality come from physics, philosophy, and psychology. In a sense, these disciplines may be though of as representing three aspects of reality that we encounter in all aspects of our lives: psychological, physical, and metaphysical. The weight that we assign to each one of these aspects will probably depend on our own ways that we think of reality, but it is fair to say that all of them play a fundamental and important role.

This book is very well written and all explanations are lucid and clear. However, this is not a book that you can easily wade through. The nature of reality is a complex subject, and the means of analyzing it and the kinds of arguments that this analysis employs require a reasonably high level of intellectual discipline and appreciation for abstract thinking. If you are willing to invest some of it, then after reading this short book you'll come away with a renewed sense of appreciation for the world that we live in at its most fundamental level.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality, A Very Short Introduction, 4 July 2012
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J. Leech (Staffs, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
This is an excellent introduction to some very difficult philosophical concepts but written with a light touch to make them accessible to the general reader who is willing to stick at it and do some thinking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blew my mind, 30 Dec. 2012
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Jf Salazar (Sheffield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
If you've ever wanted a conveniently-sized book to have in your bag for those hyperreal moments like waiting for a doctor's appointment or waiting to be served in the post office, then this book will totally turn around those moments. Worried that you're actually just a head in a jar being fed virtual reality? Or that you're dreaming reading this right now? (Answers: If you are, you're almost certainly not, and yes, there's a one-in-ten chance that you are).
The Very Short Introductions are packed with very interesting revelations and awaken a "real" fascination with a subject that goes so much further - well-written and informative, I got far more from this (and the other one I bought, Nothing) than I thought I would, it was imaginatively presented and gave an awful lot of information for such a small book on such a complex subject.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I expected it to be!, 18 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
What a great book! So interesting, written so well - a true page turner! I love when after reading a book I go on-line and buy 3 more on the topic! So inspiring, so stimulating!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The real thing, 24 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
In my humble popular view the author faced this tricky subject("the meaning of it all") very courageously with no subterfuges or detours.I know these books are of the didactic type but neverthless the author could have been more assertive and stress his own view of the meaning of reality.

Francisco Amaral
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 28 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Fascinating subject. Are we real? Is anything real? The author explores topics that many would be fearful to touch, and does so in a 'What if' kind of way that makes almost anything sound feasible. It can be just a trifle wordy at times, but nothing especially off-putting.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction To The Philosophy Of Reality!, 30 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I used this in a course taught by Jan Westerhoff on Anti-Reality. The book is a very good introduction; actually, it is much better than I expected from such a thin volume.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars oh well, 16 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
In reality I didn't like this book
but the good news is it was very short.

Too much mental hokum and not enough relativity and
quantum malarkey.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
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Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Reality: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Jan Westerhoff (Paperback - 24 Nov. 2011)
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