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“Sense perception is sense deception.” (Descartes)

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THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE SET ESSAY ASSIGNMENT - 1ST TERM 20 MARCH 2001 - WESLEY CARLSON 6B (1? "Sense perception is sense deception." (Descartes? 799 words excluding quotes, title and bibliography Sense perception is sense deception (Descartes?: The title appears to imply that the information that we receive from our senses or what we perceive may be deceiving in some circumstances and shouldn't always be trusted. In order to fully understand the title better it is sensible to first familiarize oneself with the meaning of sense perception before one can describe what is meant by sense deception. Humans are all, in normal circumstances, privileged enough to be born with the greatest instruments we will probably ever own, our senses. The philosopher, John Locke summarized this with a very fitting phrase, "all of human knowledge is ultimately derived from the five senses"*. Our five senses are, * Sight * Hearing * Taste * Smell * Touch (tangible qualities? The operation of our senses with our brain can be explained without going into much biological detail and in plain layman terms as, our brains organizing and interpreting messages sent from our sense organs into meaningful information. ...read more.


A basic everyday example would be if one had to look at the sun, one would notice that on separate occasions the sun appears to be moving but is this really the case? This is what it appears to our eyes and brain, which logically deciphers that the sun is moving around the earth. This is a complete opposite though; the earth is in reality orbiting the sun. We have been deceived because of the position in which we look at the sun. However we can correct these types of deceptions by changing ones position or angle to better accommodate our senses if possible, ideally in this situation technology would probably be best to aid our senses, we would then in fact see what we now believe to be truth, earth orbiting the sun. This shows that perception can be subjective. Magicians are working professionals who actually entertain us by using our faith in our own perceptions to deceive us. Being a past member of the South African Magical society I have a little knowledge on the subject. ...read more.


It must be said though of all the wonderful expert conjurers in the world, not even the best can stand up to a slow-motion camera, again this is technology aiding our senses. It is clear that sense perception can be deceptive but there is normally a solution to every problem, it is clear that there are ways of checking for truth, perception is affected by the context in which it is taken, and it can be relative and subjective. By knowing this we can correct our perceptions and prevent deception as well as exhaust all possibilities before making a claim to knowledge based purely on what we perceive. Reference: In the research undertaken by myself I found interesting information in the following books, which influenced the outcome of my efforts. * Steven Pinker's, How the mind works. Published in 1997. * Anthony Harrison-Barbet's, Mastering Philosophy. Published in 1990. * David Roth's, Expert Coin Magic. Published in 1985. * Henry Hay's, The Amateur Magicians Handbook. Published in 1982. (Fourth edition? ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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