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Perception

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Introduction

?We see and understand things not as they are but as we are.? Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing. For many years, we have gradually come to understand the world around us through our senses. Indeed, our senses can be so convincing that we often hear the phrase ?seeing is believing?. But can we totally rely on our senses give us the truth? After all, there are instances where we saw or heard things that weren?t there at all. This in turn raises questions concerning our sense perception: How do we know? To what extent we experience the same reality? How do our emotions and cultural beliefs affect the way we ?see? and ?understand? the world? To begin with, I have seen my little cousin color the sea red, grass blue or colors that do not necessary fit the object. After all, isn?t the color of the sea the color of the sea, why do we perceive it differently? The issue here is that we ?see? the things in the same way but conceive it differently. In fact, color is associated with light. Light at different frequencies produce different colors. However, light should not be mistaken for the experience of color. ...read more.

Middle

The arts, for instance, is highly subjective in nature. Though it does not tell us about the world ?as it is?, the arts gives us an understanding of ?how the world should be?. [2] While browsing through the net, I happened to came across a controversial artist called Guillermo Vargas. [3]Through the show-case of an unfed dog in an exhibition in 2007, he has managed to stir both my senses and emotions. Without any hesitation, I render it as an immoral thing to do and showed no respect for life. However is the artist the only one to blame? After all, many of us would just walk past a homeless dog on the streets without having a second glance. Does it make us as hypocritical? Why do we sympathize with the dog in the exhibition but not the homeless dog? To think about it, the dog from the exhibition is associated with terms like ?helpless?, or even ?tortured? that evokes our protective instincts just like how we felt towards children. The homeless dog, on the other hand, gives us the impression of a ?filthy? and ?lazy? animal, thus unworthy of our pity. The dog is still a dog. However, as our emotions changes, the dog itself also appears as changed. No doubt, the way we perceive similar situations is heavily dependent on our unconscious emotions. ...read more.

Conclusion

As opposed to the quotation, Plato claims that truth exists regardless of our ability to grasp it. After all, it is only fair to say that the apple in front of me does not magically disappear when I am not aware of it. In the allegory of the cave, Plato asserts that what we perceive are merely the shadows of reality and that forms, which cannot be known through our sense perception, make up the objective truth.[5] However, it seems as though it is a second nature for us to trust our perception, for what else is left to trust? While science aims to be empirically adequate, it does not necessary give us the objective truth. Therefore, just as the evolution of mankind, science never settle on a single truth. In fact, older theories are often replaced by the news ones. After all, there is no need for the search if the objective truth does not exist. There is no doubt that perception plays an important role in our understanding of the world. On its own, perception might be an ideal way in search for the objective truth. However, it is hard to isolate perception as an independent way of knowing as it is interconnected with reasoning, emotions and cultural beliefs. Thus, we cannot rely solely on perception. Instead, we should use perception to collect observations and combine it to give us a common understanding of the world like we did in the sciences. ...read more.

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