Reality. A Very Short Introduction.

Oxford University Press, 2011



Is matter real? Are persons real? Is time real? This Very Short Introduction discusses what, if anything, is "real" by looking at a variety of arguments from philosophy, physics, and cognitive science. The book shows that the question "what is real?" is not some esoteric puzzle that only philosophers ponder. Scientists also ask this question when they investigate whether candidates for the fundamental constituents of matter are actually "out there" or just a mere abstraction from a successful theory and cognitive scientists ask it when trying to find out which set of the bewildering array of data processed by our brain could constitute the basis for the self.

  • Incorporates examples from philosophy, physics, and cognitive science.
  • Looks at the cultural influence of the idea of 'reality' and its modern-day resonance.


Rob Hardy in The Dispatch, June 7, 2012.

Jeremy Lott in The Washington Times, 6th April 2012.

Steven Poole in Guardian Review, 16 December 2011.


A translation into Swedish has just been published, a translation into Arabic is forthcoming.