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To what extent do our senses give us knowledge of the world as it really is?

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Introduction

´╗┐Essay Question: To what extent do our senses give us knowledge of the world as it really is? Human senses do not give much knowledge to the world as it really is; they primarily function to create a physical representation of the world that the brain can understand. Human senses can detect and receive true information, but the brain processes this information to attempt to form an image of the world that is coherent, not as it truly is. On the other hand, some people might say that human senses can give us absolute knowledge as the world is; it is just the way that humans organize information that leads to the common thought that what we perceive is not truly what is. Human senses are, in the most basic of definitions, ways that the mind receives information from the outside world. Whether this is through touch, smell, taste, sight, or hearing, does not matter; it is still information from the outside world, in this case, categorized into groups. This means that what information that is going into, for instance, the eye, is true raw information of the world; it is the world as it really is. ...read more.

Middle

Thus, the illusion of the spontaneous changing of color of dots from black to white and vice versa is caused by the processing of the brain trying to create a coherent version of the world. In addition, the senses receive this pure and true raw information rather haphazardly. Thus, the information gathered is also unreliable when concerning knowledge about the true world. For example, the rods and cones contained within the cornea of the human eye are used to detect light and color, respectively. However, when the cornea is not exposed to copious amounts of light for a long period, the cornea?s rods become adapted to the darker environment. Then, when the cornea is introduced to a light-rich environment, the cornea receives this information as being extremely bright, to the point where there is no way for the cones to function, and thus there is no color. In this information gathered from the true world, there is only extremely bright white light. However, in many cases, this is not true information; the light-rich environment is not solely comprised of bright white light. That is simply a misconception caused by the cornea?s unreliability. ...read more.

Conclusion

What is actually causing people to not have true knowledge of the world is the organizational skills they learn after they are born. However, organization is a completely a priori phenomenon. For example, babies organize colors very simply, black vs. white. They organize black into association of nothingness and white into association with existence. Therefore, human kind has a need to organize and categorize the information against and with previously assumed information to understand the world. Thus, while it is true that perception can be used solely to gain knowledge about the world as it really is, the problem arises whenever one attempts to organize the information into a coherent image. This is a slight problem because unprocessed perceptual knowledge is useless as it is random information scattered around the brain. All in all, human senses cannot fully give us knowledge about the world as it really is. This is due to the haphazard way the physical receptors of our senses gather information, the heavy processing of information to form a coherent physical representation of the world, and a differing a posteriori organizational skills, which are used to come to the coherent representation of the world. However, some people do believe that knowledge of the world can be gained solely on the perceptual information gained from the perception organs. ...read more.

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