Social reality  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Social reality is distinct from biological reality or individual cognitive reality, and consists of the accepted social tenets of a community. Some scholars such as John Searle believe that the social reality can be established separately from that of any individual or the surrounding ecology (at odds with the views of perceptual psychology including those of J. J. Gibson, and those of most ecological economics theories).

If one accepts the validity of the idea of social reality, scientifically, it must be amenable to measurement. Theories of the measurement of trust in the sociological community are usually called theories of social capital, to emphasize the connection to economics, and the ability to measure outputs in the same manner.

The best-known principle of social reality is "the big lie", which states that an outrageous untruth is easier to convince people of than a less outrageous truth. Many examples from politics and theology, e.g. the claim that the Roman Emperor was in fact a "god", demonstrate that this principle was known by effective propagandists from early times, and continues to be applied to this day, e.g. the propaganda model of Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, which supports the 'big lie' thesis with more specifics.

The problem of social reality has been treated exhaustively by philosophers in the phenomenological tradition, particularly Alfred Schütz, who used the term social world to designate this distinct level of reality. Previously, the subject had been addressed in sociology as well as other disciplines. Herbert Spencer, for example, coined the term super-organic to distinguish the social level of reality above the biological and psychological.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Social reality" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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