The Relationship Between Virtual and Actual Reality: Phenomenological-Ontological Approach

Olga Sergeevna Gilyazova


The article addresses the relationship between virtual and actual reality as the external world of users. The objective is to study the relationship between two realities: virtual reality and actual reality in their ontological uniqueness and distinctness. The set objective implies that virtual reality should be seen as a specific conditional reality. The applied methodological principle incorporates concepts of ontological/ functional/ artistic conditionalities. The development of modern VR technology contributing to the formation of cyberculture is shown to bring the functional conditionality to the forefront, putting into action and emphasizing the leading part of an individual, the importance of his or her self-subject position (as the Participant or the Observer) in social construction of reality. The specific nature of the boundaries of conditionality as well as their penetrability/ impenetrability (characterizing openness or closeness of realities) make it possible to draw a demarcation line between the actual reality and other realities.

The comparative analysis given in the article revealed a number of distinctive features inherent in virtual realities. Due to these features, virtual realities can be differentiated both from the actual reality and the realities (mental, artistic) generally referred to as virtual by a number of scholars. As defined, the actual reality, as long as its social and regulatory pressure is imperative and unconditional, can compete with virtual realities, which, on the other hand, due to their interactivity can have such an impact on the actual reality that any concept of two autonomous worlds makes no sense.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Virtual reality, Actual reality, Functional conditionality, Conditional reality, Cyberculture, Mass media, Ontological status, Social phenomenology.

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