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"In order to find out how things really are, one must understand the filters through which one perceives the world." Discuss and evaluate this claim.

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Introduction

"In order to find out how things really are, one must understand the filters through which one perceives the world." Discuss and evaluate this claim. Perception is the awareness of an object or thought. It is the base of all the knowledge we gain throughout our life. Talking about filters in perception, we mean the ways in which we separate the truth from unreality in order to gain this knowledge, although it is difficult to define what a universal truth is. A scientist may believe in a different truth from a religious believer believes, regarding the question how the world evolved, for example. However, there is not only the problem of understanding these filters in order to find out how things really are, but also the problem of understanding that these filters may mislead us. It is said that there are many different filters that alter our perception. One is the way we collect information through our senses. The senses seem to be the most important filter of human perception, as "seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak"1. These senses are separated into categories of sight, taste, sound, smell and touch and each of them gives us different information from which we can conclude a general idea of reality. ...read more.

Middle

We tend to see first only one, and then the other but hardly ever both at the same time. The switching from one drawing to another however does not mean that our perceptions beliefs change but the perception itself. In whatever way and through whatever sense we collected the information that is built up by our perception, our brain then combines them with other filters of perception such as beliefs, values and experiences. These obviously differ from culture to culture. By understanding how different cultures perceive their knowledge, one might understand how they think and what their values and beliefs are based on. Values and beliefs, however, also differ between adults and children. Our perception depends on our age, as our knowledge increases over time, and, besides others, mainly through the changes to our believes which were caused by a range of life experiences. However, people forget some of their gained knowledge while they are ageing, which shows the inefficiency of the human brain. We could, as a summary say, that by using simply our senses, we cannot gain absolute reliable perception and therefore no absolute knowledge. We can only know what the world seems like to us, not how it really is3. So, what are the other ways of how to perceive the world? ...read more.

Conclusion

I am very much scared of birds. This emotion (fear) is based on the belief that birds are dangerous and on my bad experience I had with them. Since this belief can be appropriate to the facts, the emotion can be appropriate itself although it might seem ridiculous for someone else. "In order to understand how things really are.." The term "real" has not the same meaning for everyone. The way the world really is and how it is perceived, differs from person to person because of the difference of their individual filters. It seems also that experiences, values and believes are the factors that influence these filters of perception. However, reality exists, no matter what way you perceive it and in what way you tend to believe in it. In my final conclusion I would argue, that it is nearly impossible to understand how things really are and perceive them in the same way that others do, as everyone perceives the world differently. On the other hand, by becoming aware of their filters, one might understand each individual perception and the way of gaining knowledge. Words: 1628 This is not including the title, footnotes and poem example. 1 John Berger, Ways of Seeing (BBC and Penguin Books, London, 1983) 2 (Albert Einstein) 3 The enterprise of knowledge, John L. Tomkinson 4 stated in 1978 by the Nobel Laureate in Literature winner Isaac Bashevis Singer 5 (Hume) Amelie Kuster ToK - Long Essay 1 ...read more.

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