Realitas vs wirklichkeit: the genesis of the two concepts of western metaphysics

  • V. Y. Popov Donetsk national university
Keywords: reality, activities, real, realitas, haecceitas, , Wirklichkeit, reism, actualism


The terms «reality» and «reality» are used interchangeably, or quite similar to each other іn the modern Ukrainian philosophical literature. However, they have significant substantive differences, which not only with their etymology, but also fundamentally different metaphysical foundations of their origin and use. Category «reality» in the European metaphysics is closely linked substantiality, and not as a process. Category «reality» reflects a dynamic dimension of being, and originates from the «» «Metaphysics» of Aristotle, which later developed into the category of German philosophy Wirklichkeit». In the article it is proved that the notions of «realitas» and «Wirklichkeit» born in the end of the age of high scholasticism, and their founders were Duns Scotus and Eckhart Meister. In particular, the concept of «realitas» is entered Duns Scotus to denote «ultima realitas» («ultimate reality») things that is haecceitas «thisness» individual things. The concept of «realitas» (reality) speaking only a subsidiary subsequently in Western ontology acquires metaphysical significance. Eckhart Meister borrows from albert the Great, the term «actualitas» (actuality) and translates this word into the language of their sermons as «wercelicheit», which later became «Wirklichkeit». This word in the mouth of a preacher mystic ceases to be a simple translation of «actualitas» turning from the Divine actus purus in «non­action activities». However, these mystical layering subsequently disappear; Сh. Wolf word «Wirklichkeit» means the certainty of the existence or possible implementation. However, in the German classics (I. Kant, G. Hegel) a continued separation «Wirklichkeit­Realitt». In Marxism reality more and more identified with the objective reality. Similar processes occur in the English­analytic philosophy (for example L. Wittgenstein). However, the article notes that the problem of the delimitation of the categories of «reality» and «reality» is becoming increasingly important in connection with the emergence of radical constructivism. this distinction is need to define two metaphysical paradigm: reists and actualists, indicated іn the conclusions .

Author Biography

V. Y. Popov, Donetsk national university
doctor of philosophical sciences, associate professor, Full Prof.


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How to Cite
Popov, V. Y. (2014). Realitas vs wirklichkeit: the genesis of the two concepts of western metaphysics. Grani, 17(3), 16-22. Retrieved from