I'm trying to articulate my perception of reality for a blog post. Core to the clarity of this post is that it successfully transmit a certain very deep and abstract notion. I struggle to convey this notion in all its depth; the best I can do is approximate the intellectual dimensions of the idea. I want the reader to appreciate the full spectrum of depth and meaning of the idea and to appreciate its emotional component too. And that's why I'm here.

The notion I'm trying to convey is as follows. Suppose you have some system of thought. Within this system, there are things which it considers to be real, true, fundamentally deep and meaningful, founded in absoluteness, that is, part of the fundamental structure of the system itself and not synthetic, constructed, subjective, or arbitrary. These objects whether they be physical or purely intellectual space, are the most real things that can exist in their systems. For example: gravity, pure mathematics, a certain way of life, etc.

What would be the adjective to describe this form of realness?

I've heard the word Platonic Form but am looking for an adjective or synonym that the layman would know.

  • 1
    What about substance or essence? Jan 3, 2017 at 23:41
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    Many modern philosophies consider nothing to be "real, true, fundamentally deep" and especially "founded in absoluteness". But "foundational beliefs" would be a classical term with similar meaning, fundamental reality or absolute are also similar but they have religious overtones.
    – Conifold
    Jan 3, 2017 at 23:50

2 Answers 2


The phrase you are looking for, my friend, is 'metaphysical simples,' which is the set coextensional with the set of singletons of which the attribute 'fundamentality' obtains.


At first I thought, that substance is the right term, but this doesn't fit well for "a certain way of life", "pure mathematics".

Some suggestions:

  • first principle

  • ultimate principle

  • foundation of reality

  • fabric of the universe

  • fundamental reality

  • The Absolute

  • elements of reality

  • arche

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