• Lajos Brons deposited What is Real? in the group Group logo of PhilosophyPhilosophy on Humanities Commons 4 months ago

    Two of the most fundamental distinctions in metaphysics are (1) that between reality (or things in themselves) and appearance, the R/A distinction, and (2) that between entities that are fundamental (or real, etcetera) and entities that are ontologically or existentially dependent, the F/D distinction. While these appear to be two very different distinctions, in Buddhist metaphysics they are combined, raising questions about how they are related. In this paper I argue that plausible versions of the R/A distinction are essentially a special kind of F/D distinction, and conversely, that many F/D distinctions imply an R/A distinction. Nevertheless, while this does suggest that the F/D distinction is more basic than the R/A distinction, it does not favor a particular understanding of the F/D distinction. There are many kinds of existential or ontological dependence that cannot be meaningfully combined into a single notion, and reality does not force us to accept any specific kind of dependence as more fundamental. Consequently, what we consider to be ‘real’, ‘fundamental’, or ‘really existing’ is not entirely given by reality, but partially up to us.