Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of English

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 53 pages) :

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Mike Hill

Committee Members

Charles Shepherdson, Kir Kuiken


enlightenment, multiverse, novel, quantum physics, the real, virtual, Reality, Technological innovations, Tools

Subject Categories

Philosophy | Social Psychology


When Isaac Newton conducted his prism experiment, and discovered a “new theory of light and colours,” the experiment had far more social and scientific import than he could have anticipated. In his paper, Newton broke “whiteness” down into its true, conglomerate, multi-layered essence. “For the first time,” a phrase that was used quite a bit during the Enlightenment and Restoration of the 17th-18th centuries, whiteness was understood as a composite that contained every other colour. What happens to the paradox of the Enlightenment-- predicated upon “individuality” that was strangely restricted to white males-- when the very basis of “whiteness” has been altered? And what other facets of life have tools redefined; even altered irreversibly? Tools have been restructuring our perception of “the real” for centuries; some opening up entirely new worlds that expand our view of humankind and life outside of its periphery, some restricting us to worlds that are tainted with delusion, or never existed in the first place. However one approaches the question of tools, and their impact on humankind, one must confront the transformative effects that tools have on “the real.” This project will seek to trace the history of tool-based cultures, and how the most primitive extension of our biological make-up has launched us into a future that we, perhaps, aren’t prepared for. Fast forward a few hundred years, and we are being confronted with the “forgotten majority” that we have kept hidden, and “the real” is being problematized now more than ever before.