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When should we trust our senses to give us truth?

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When should we trust our senses to give us truth? We as humans rely on our senses in order to effectively communicate with our environment. It is possible that one often neglects these powers completely, oblivious of the fact that it may be the sole means by which we have obtained all our knowledge. For example, with our sight we are able to appreciate nature's beauty, with our hearing and touch we are able to converse with others; our senses equip us to deal with and also to appreciate our environment. In visual art for example, one enjoys a piece of painting when the viewer's senses are aroused or triggered. There may not be proper reasoning involved while observing a particular piece of artwork. However, it is difficult much harder to gain mathematical knowledge if one was to only use their senses. Before we discuss whether we should trust our senses to give us the truth, how can truth be defined? According to Aristotle "To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is ...read more.


Not only do the five senses provide contradicting feedback to one individual; but senses can be sharply varying among people. It is possible for two people to view the same artwork at the same time in the same environment but interpret it in completely differently ways. This is because phenomena picked up by our senses is interpreted by our brains, and each of us may interpret our observations differently. This also shows how our brains do not record everything detected by our senses; thus there must be some kind of subconscious filtration system in which the brain determines what to hold onto and what to forget, and surely this system works differently for different individuals. Of course there the question of, how can we trust our senses where there can be factors that impede our ability to use utilize senses to their maximum potential. Often illnesses will deprive one from using their senses to its optimum potential. For example a cold will reduce our ability to smell or taste something. Other examples include: blindness preventing one from seeing things, Deafness preventing a person from hearing. ...read more.


of senses is incomprehensible; if we were to not use or trust our senses at all, we would have observed or obtained nothing to reason in the first place. In conclusion, our five senses - sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing - are critical in observing the world around us and interconnecting the various ways of knowing. The brain constantly uses reasoning to apply meaning to the observations made through the use of our senses. However, one should acknowledge hat there are certain situations in which our senses can lack accuracy. We should not be quick to trust our senses when they conflict with each other, when they conflict with another individual's senses, or when they are being degraded by external factors. However, we should certainly trust our senses to give us knowledge and truth when we can back them up with sufficient reasoning or experience. Therefore, it can be said that all known truths have been obtained through the use of senses together with reasoning. We should trust our senses to give us truth only when the knowledge we obtain is public, independent of anyone's belief, eternal, and can be justified with reasoning. Word count: 1180 ...read more.

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