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Is there only one kind of truth; only one kind of reality? Or are there several types of reality?
The sentence "Emma Bovary died by suicide" is true although "Emma Bovary" is only a fictitious entity, an element of an inter-subjective reality (in this case: the literary world), not of the objective reality "out there".

IMO, these inter-subjective entities have a kind of reality of their own. Not only literary figures like Emma Bovary, but also laws or countries or corporations like Apple, or human rights...

People find it difficult understand the idea of "belief system" or "imagined order" because they assume that there are only two types of realities; objective realities, and subjective realities. In fact humans have evolved create inter-subjective objects and orders based on their beliefs.

The imagined order or belief system exists - or "exists" if you prefer - in the shared imagination of millions of people. Things like any monetary system, the idea of human rights, or the United States of America itself exist as inter-subjective realities.

The imagined orders and belief systems shape our deepest desires, how we view ourselves and world around us. We believe the fictional realities of our culture because we are born into it. “If you don’t think your is real, give it me.” Well yes, but it is only useful because of the inter-subjective belief of all of the other people within the system.

The imagined order is embedded not only in the desires of a single person, but of countless people. It is an inter-subjective order that exists in the shared imagination of millions of people, but it probably started with the coming together of related tribal groups of humans in places like Göbekli Tepe, Turkey. Creating large shared fictional realities resulted in rapid innovation of social behavior resulting in, or related to, the development of agriculture and towns and cities.

Matias 8 July 14
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Sorry but this sort of wheedling, wordsmiths equivocation gets on my wick.
"Emma Bovary died by suicide" is not truth or reality, it is a précis of an aspect of a work of fiction.
The book/story Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert exists, that is reality, that is true and that is as far as the reality of it goes.
Pro-literary or pro-filmic contextuality is just a device for coherent story telling, nothing more.
Saying "inter-subjective entities have a kind of reality of their own" is basically the kind of deliberate mental masturbation that literary theorist come up with so that they can spend years publishing books disagreeing with one another and not having to get a real job, or even write real books.
Baudrillard and Bloom were prime examples of this in the 80's and 90's much of their output was dedicated to stating how wrong the other was, but never really saying why, while Terry Eagleton stood ring side egging them on and writing books that took the piss out of both their arguments.
Taking inspiration from a work of literature is undeniably something that happens, but is nothing more than that, inspiration.
We as humans are bound by the limits of both our senses and our technology to define reality as that which can be directly or indirectly perceived, measured, observed and proven by quantifiable "real" evidence.
There well maybe other aspects of reality outside of that range of perception, but until they can be perceived they are in effect irrelevant to us and should be treated as such.
Even in some physicists wildest speculations upon the many worlds theory of quantum mechanics, the idea that some were in the vastness of the omni-verse/multiverse there is actually a world were Winnie the Pooh exists and lives in the 100 acre wood with his pals would boast such an almost infinite degree of improbability that the chance of such would be so negligible as to be to all intents and purposes impossible.
"Nothing unreal exists" though from a ridiculous source is a quote worth remembering, and had it been taken as common wisdom a few thousand years ago, we would have probably avoided no end of bloodshed, horror and inhumanity in the name of unperceived (therefore unreal) and yet honoured and blindly followed objects of wishful thinking.

You seem to be confusing fictitious with abstract conceptualisation, the representational or the virtual.
Money for instance as an abstract concept is not fictional in any way shape or form, since in it's lowest form it exists as a tangible token of exchange and in higher levels as a virtual representation of the worth goods and services on an international level.

As for having an axe to grind against literary criticism, you are wrong, my son holds a masters degree in literary theory and my late writing partner of thirty years was Dr. C.J. Walmsley of the university of Hiroshima and Durham author a literary theorist.


Physics and orders of reality:

We may define First Order Reality as what we directly observe and experience. Second order Reality consists of the fundamental entities and causes of First Order Reality. Physics informs us of this Second Order Reality. But these entities and causes such as they are recognized are functions of our own sensors and analyzers. Therefore, we may imagine a Third Order Reality of which Second Order Reality is only a reflection. It may well be that there are Fourth and still Higher Order Realities which are for ever beyond even our conceptual perception. At the other end, we may consider a Zeroth Order Reality consisting of the pure creations of the human Mind which are powerful factors in human culture and interaction. All our mythology and poetry, fiction and even some history, and other creations of the human imagination, as well such abstract elements as justice and equality, freedom and honor, belong to Zeroth Order Reality.


Heraclitus Level 8 July 14, 2018

Totally agree on that point. Bearing in mind that a two dimensional state cannot observe the depth of existence of a three dimensional state, yet the third can conceive the second, then the ladder of increased dimensional perception is infinite (assumedly). The paradox here of course is that the one dimensional existence has no perception of anything and must split itself to become aware. The Big Bang? Your argument also cleverly includes Plato's forms, the idea of something preceding its different varieties.


Here is a Vedanta Hindu argument for different orders of reality:


Heraclitus Level 8 July 14, 2018

Interesting. Reminds me of Alfred North Whitehead's worldview, although he doesn't bring it to bear on the here and now as directly as you have. He writes (in Modes of Thought):
"Again everything is something, which in its own way is real. When you refer to something as unreal, you are merely conceiving a type of reality to which that 'something' does not belong."

Wallace Level 7 July 14, 2018

"Again everything is something, which in its own way is real. When you refer to something as unreal, you are merely conceiving a type of reality to which that 'something' does not belong."

Come on seriously everything is real, even when it is not because we can conceive of it?

That is simple Ontological word play, which in this context is reliant to try and sneak around the idea that nothing unreal exists on concocting a hypothetical variation of reality, something that is not possible with in the bounds of human perception.

It is not even original.

@LenHazell53 I agree that there's lots of "ontological wordplay" out there but Whitehead made that claim in earnest and I am convinced that the general features of his philosophy are on target. You may know he was a mathematician and so he was naturally interested in the ontological status of numbers; but also he was interested in the ontological status of dreams, of poems, of possibilities, of truth, and of anything that is NOT NOTHING. In his Process and Reality he lists six (or seven?) "categories of existence," and (as I understand him) everything except square circles and the like falls into one category or another.

@Wallace Interesting, I'll read up on it thank you.

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