• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Perception Deception

Extracts from this document...


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Perception Deception Prompt: "We see and understand things not as they are but as we are." Discuss this claim in relation to the novel, your own experience, and at least two ways of knowing. "Whilst part of what we perceive comes through our sense from the object before us, another part (and it may be the larger part) always comes out of our own mind" (James, 1842-1910). In the words of philosopher William James, myself, and this essay prompt, all that humans perceive is altered by the beliefs and biases that constitute their identities. Not only is what we choose to believe greatly influenced by our characters and choices, but it is impossible not to be slightly biased at times. Bias and prejudice is irrational, and would fall into the category of emotional intuition, or irrational instinctive knowing. Nevertheless, what to be biased about varies from person to person, and that is why intuition and perception are considered the more fallacious ways of knowing; because they are so subjective. Christopher John Francis Boone, the protagonist in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and myself are no exceptions to this statement, as they way we describe occurrences, people, and objects are completely different, and once you know each of us, it is evident that we are completely different people. Christopher and myself are examples of how human understanding is varied from person to person due to the differences in each psychological makeup that influences both perception and emotion, and how often one relies on either one. ...read more.


This preference might be irrational, and that is how emotions are ways of knowing. Emotion is also a human way of knowing that is highly subjective and can be shaped by beliefs: "a change in our beliefs can lead to a change in the corresponding emotion. For example, if you enter a badly lit cellar and see a snake in the corner, you will probably be frightened. But if, when you look more closely, you discover that it is not a snake but a coiled rope, your fear will vanish. A change in your beliefs has led to a change in your emotions" (van de Lagemaat 150). Emotion is strongly connected to perception: Our perception of things can be colored by strong emotions, and there is doubtless some truth in sayings like 'love is blind' and fear has many eyes'. Such emotional coloring can make us aware of some aspects of reality to the exclusion of others. If, for example, you are in love with someone you are likely to be blind to their faults; whereas if you loathe them you are likely to see only their faults (van de Lagemaat 151). Christopher Boone, most of the time, does not feel any emotion. That is because, once again, he is autistic and has an extremely rational mind which leans so far towards reason that it has no place for intuition. Such can be seen in his dispassionate style of stating things, feeling no emotion for the "fact" that his mother died, and inability to love. ...read more.


I would have done it if this random intuition had not stopped me. Similarly, Christopher's intuitions are also highly relative: "[He doesn't like] Bananas [because they are yellow] (bananas also turn brown)" (Haddon 84). Personally, I love bananas, and I also really like the color brown, and I don't mind the color yellow, however, Christopher does not like these colors because he has some form of emotion and intuition government by his unconscious mind that allows him to make these choices. Since he is very rationalistic, he states, "in life you have to take lots of decisions and if you don't take decisions you would never do anything because you would spend all your time choosing between things you could do" (Haddon 85). Hence, one can see that humans' perception is defined strongly by their emotions and beliefs, thus causing us to understand things not the way they are but as we are. Conclusively, it is impossible, even if one is autistic, to perceive things free of emotion and intuition. Thus, the most important thing that can come out of the realization that humans define and perceive objects uniquely is that one can learn more about oneself from these perceptions. Either way, Christopher John Francis Boone and myself serve as sometimes opposite yet sometimes very similar examples in defining that humans are irrational and highly subjective creatures who "think and name in one world" and "live and feel in another" (Proust, 1871-1922). ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essays

  1. Filters of Perception

    in France they'll stare at you thinking you're mad since you've just said "I feel bread".

  2. Context is all. from the novel The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood brings a ...

    Actually, I believe that there have been far more beautiful paintings created during the Renaissance, but when I analyzed the painting in the context of an art historian; I realized the vast difference between a painting which is simply nice to look at to a painting which imparts so much valuable information and demands constant research.

  1. To what extent does Emotion colour our perception

    Without emotion, there would be no art in the world. The emotions an individual feels also has great importance when viewing art. For example, when I and my mother viewed a painting related to the background and culture of Pakistan, we perceived it differently.

  2. TOK essay on make-up

    The second one might be thought to blindly follow the pattern, acting according to the standards. However thought- and senseless this behaviour might seem to be, it should be understandable to some extent because the social pressure to look immaculately is indeed very high.

  1. Language and Perception

    He jumps online to post it on every social networking site under the Sun. As soon as he gets on the internet, he gets curious. He goes to his favorite search engine and types in "1001 jumps with a jump rope".

  2. To what extent is the subjective nature of perception regarded as an advantage to ...

    This poses a difficulty in the communication of a statement that the artist wishes to express with the artistic piece. For example, in one of my English classes, there was a class discussion on whether poetry was meant for enjoyment or analysis.

  1. The Mind Is Misled

    Last we leave it up to ourselves to believe what your own mind wants to believe because in actuality when you are in a dream that dream is your reality even though it is not real. In conclusion I think we can know whether our perceptions have any connection with truth and the true nature of reality.

  2. Although complete dependence on intuition is not suggested, intuition is often surprisingly accurate. But ...

    A major category that must be acknowledged in order to thoroughly study this question is religion. Take Christianity as an example. Is there any way to prove against this intuitive explanation? Is there any way to prove that this explanation is true?

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work