Jasper RushPhil 101Britni Weaver18 January 2018Do we perceive reality as it actually is, or are we receiving only partial view of reality??In order to determine what portion of ‘reality’ we as humans envision, we must first discuss what reality supposedly is. Reality can be described as the way we perceive our world, the way we react the objects and experiences that are presented to us. My belief is that humans as a whole can never truly know if we perceive the full measure of reality because we can never truly understand and define Have you ever seen the Matrix? It’s a rather popular philosophical sci-fi movie, in a particular sequence the protagonist, Neo is presented with a conundrum: the red pill, or the blue pill, a choice between learning the absolute truth about reality, and the blissful ignorance of illusion. Neo eventually decides to take the red pill and thus indeed learn the truth of reality. He learns that he has been living his life within a simulation and he is now experiencing ‘true’ reality. But something that is often overlooked is that the red pill doesn’t actually give you knowledge of reality but instead eradicates any distinction between real and fake. Because if Neo is now somehow outside of the simulation, what’s to say that the reality that Neo and the characters of the Matrix are in is not just another layer to the simulation? Because up until Neo escapes the Matrix, it had seemed just as real as the new reality he finds himself in. If anything the Matrix proves that knowing what reality is and isn’t is an impossibility. This paradox is referred to as an infinite regress issue which means that any evidence we find or knowledge we obtain could just simulated as part of our reality, if the extent of this hypothesized illusion cannot be determined, then nothing can be determined. This theory that the universe and reality itself could be a simulation has been around for a long time. Chinese philosopher Zhuang Zou (c. 369-286 BC) compared his own existence to that of a dream in which he believed himself to be a butterfly, he questioned the distinction between reality and a dream if both can seem equally real and tangible. (Mair)Another theory that questions the validity of reality is Plato’s cave allegory. Imagine a cave where people have been imprisoned since birth, they are chained in such a way that they are forced to constantly gaze at the wall in front of them. They cannot look around the cave, at each other, or even themselves, their whole reality is that wall. Behind them, there is a fire. Between the fire and the prisoners there is a walkway. When people walk between the fire and the prisoners, shadows are cast on the wall, because the prisoners know nothing else in the universe but this wall, they perceive the shadows walking across the wall to be real, actual entities of their own. They have no idea that the shadows on the wall are merely lesser copies of reality, and falsely assume that this partial reality that they perceive is the whole truth.The afterlife and the idea of passing over when we die is a representation of humanities desire for something other, something different from the reality. Humans as a whole are a curious bunch, always striving to understand their nature. And in terms of metaphysics, death is the closest approximation of what a change in reality is, thusly the plethora of explanations and stories regarding ones passing. Humans have found other ways to explore reality though. As reality is dictated by consciousness, humans have taken to exploring the consciousness by doing things such as meditation or, in some cases, ingesting substances that alter states of consciousness. In conclusion, based off  of the writings and opinions of such historical philosophers such as Plato and Zhuang Zou, it is my belief that it is truly impossible for a human to fully comprehend the nature of reality, therefore it is truly impossible for us to determine that what we see is the true measure of reality.Works Cited Mair, Victor H. (1994). Wandering on the Way: Early Taoist Tales and Parables of Chuang Tzu. New York: Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-37406-0″Infinite Regress.” Infinite Regress, The Information Philosopher, www.informationphilosopher.com/knowledge/infinite_regress.html.