Appearance and Reality
In Chapter One Bertrand Russell basically wants to know the true meaning of “reality”. The truth is that “reality” can never truly be determined. I say this because there is a difference between believing and actually knowing. For example I know the desk in the front of the classroom is real. I know this because all of my senses concur. Now when I try to determine to color, the texture or even the shape of the desk I will run into a problem.
Just as the example given in the text, the tables color may look difference according to the amount of light that is on it. If the amount of light is changed the shade of the color will also change, therefore making the color of the desk impossible to determine.
The texture of the table presents the same trouble. When looking at the desk it might appear to be smooth and flat. When looking close range, through a microscope, it will appear rough and jagged. This also makes it impossible to determine the texture.
The shape presents the same questions. Although we believe the desk to have a certain shape, when seen from a different point of view the desk will look different. When you look at something from another perspective it will be different.
The point that Bertrand Russell is trying to make is that what is “real” to us may not be “real” at all. There are so many questions that must be answered for one to know the “truth”, so many that it is, in my opinion, impossible. How can we truly know the feeling, or taste, or sound, or anything of any given...