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When should we trust our senses to give us the truth?

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Introduction

´╗┐TOK Essay 1 / 2012 2. When should we trust our senses to give us the truth? Name: Ashley Tan (1) Class: P5 Supervisor: Eric Lau Word count: 1585 We interact and understand the world?s various facets through our senses. Our sense of sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch allow us to perceive the surrounding environment as well as to gather information and formulate truths about the world. Our senses are the raw data that we absorb, which our brain processes and interprets, forming our own knowledge and truths. However, will we know whether this truth is really the truth? Our senses can only be trusted sometimes and they do have their own limitations and restrictions. Hence we can never be certain of the truths that we conceive. Thus this essay will address certain situations in which we are able to trust our senses, and situations in which we are not. I believe that truth is something that has been thoroughly tested but not falsified. This means that a truth is only a truth when it has been completely examined by comparing and assessing it to other factors of the environment. However the notion of truth varies in the areas of knowledge. ...read more.

Middle

Deserves the name of knowledge.? Thus he believes that our senses are correct and the data that we receive real, but we can never be certain that that is the truth. Even though our senses may be right, interpretations might differ between people, and each person may formulate different truths of their own. The senses are the the direct link between us and the environment, the immediate organs that acquire the raw data. Even so our brain is the organ that interprets the data that we acquire, assembling the data and enabling us to form truths. Therefore even though every person gains the same information, different people, with different ways of thinking, will come up with varying interpretations and truths of their own. Each individual is influenced by cultural and religious factors. This is often seen in history, as everything happened in the past. Thus even with the hard facts that are gained from things such as eyewitness accounts and personalized documents, the rest is up to the speculation and inference of people in the present day, to try and fill in the gaps that are left behind by history. Consequently, history is extremely liable to bias by those who record the events and happenings. ...read more.

Conclusion

In science, we rely on our senses to make observations about a certain condition or stimulus, or the processes of a reaction. Since our senses are unreliable, we require the use of microscopes as our senses are not perceptive enough to see objects at such a level, and these tools help to make up for the weaknesses of our sensory organs. However, science is constantly being improved on as more advanced technology is being invented, and in the future more scientific breakthroughs will be uncovered. Hence as I have stated previously, we cannot say that there is any definite truth in science as the truth is forever being developed on. In history, people have invented gadgets such as cameras that allow them to take a screenshot of the past. Unlike in our minds where the images that we receive from our eyes are temporary, as we could forget what we have seen, cameras allow us to actually turn memories into something tangible. Therefore instruments and devices are essential when our senses are not entirely reliable. All in all, our senses are the ones that allow us to interact with the world around us. Even so, they are inaccurate most of the time, and may not be permanent. Thus we have to use other ways to gain information from our surroundings, and from there on come up with truths of our own. ...read more.

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