Philosophy of Reality

Common Sense Reality
Most people think that physical objects are real and that they exist independent of human contemplation. Objects do not change depending upon our thoughts about them. They exist objectively whether or not we think about them, observe them, measure them, or ignore them. The "common sense" philosophy has always been around, but it was articulated by 18th century Moderates in response to the destructive Enlightenment philosophies of John Locke and David Hume. The Moderates "rejected John Locke's radical doctrine of ideas because they recognized that 'everyone believes that a real world exists beyond our minds and imaginations and that we can truly know things about the world around us.' Even skeptics and relativists duck when they go through low doorways."

Vedantic Philosophy - The World of Ideas
The ancient and modern Eastern religious philosophy of reality tells us that reality is subjective, consisting of ideas and perceptions. Dreams seem very real when we are asleep, but upon awakening we realize that what seemed so real when we were dreaming was only in the mind. After pointing this out, the Vedantic philosopher claims that we can also be fooled when we are awake, and we don't ever really know for sure what is real. So, he concludes, it is our thoughts and mental images that are important, since everything else may only be an illusion.

Quantum Reality
In the Western world, the leading physicists advocate one or more of the eight forms of quantum reality, with most holding to the Copenhagen Interpretation that There is no deep reality. "The Copenhagen interpretation properly consists of two distinct parts: 1. There is no reality in the absence of observation; 2. Observation creates reality. `You create your own reality....' " As stated by a much honored professor of Quantum Theory, "We now know the moon is demonstrably not there when nobody looks." This is not merely hyperbole; "Physicists do not put forth these quantum realities as science fiction speculations concerning worlds that might have been, but as serious pictures of the one world we actually live in: the universe outside your door."