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

When Should We Trust Our Senses To give us Truth

Extracts from this document...


The world is a big place, filled with people full of curiosity and with their own individual quests. People are constantly talking, looking, hearing, smelling, and gaining knowledge from things and people from their environment. The scope of knowledge gained on a day to day basis is therefore vast. To what extent though, is this knowledge we acquire true? People are constantly seeking for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems; in a way, they seek a pathway to truth. The quote: "rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness... give me truth" (Thoreau) justifies that truth is a necessity of life and every man seeks it to distinguish between reality and fantasy. To understand truth, we need to know its three basic theories. The correspondence theory states that a statement is true if it corresponds to a fact. The Coherence theory says that a proposition is true if it fits in with our overall sets of belief. Finally, the pragmatic theory states that a proposition is true if it is useful or works in practice. We will use these three theories to understand when our senses can be trusted to give us the truth. ...read more.


Because she was blind and deaf, she had no idea of the concept of language, words, or how to express herself. She found a way around this complication by the means of language through her sense of touch. She used the Tadoma method of touching the lips and throat of others as they speak, combined with fingerspelling letters on the palm. Therefore, she made the sense of touch her mode of communication (her language) and used it in her day to day life to acquire knowledge from the world of underlying facts around her. Over her years of experience and practice, she obtained a set of beliefs that unveiled the blackness and shed light on the world of facts around her, thus applying to the theories of truth. The Eskimo-Aleut language has a hundred words for the word snow; therefore they see the truth in much more detail because of the deeper meaning than other people who do not speak the language. Words can also mean different things in other languages and expressions (body language) can be easily misinterpreted. This is why in order to get the truth, one needs experience with language; this might take a long time but would take us closer to the ultimate truth. ...read more.


In order to get close to the absolute truth, we need to set apart our emotions just like Helen Keller did and think logically, or simply reason out. The final way of knowing- perception, is also vital for achieving the truth. Everything we see, hear, taste, smell, or touch, is not necessarily what we expect it to be. As said before, we know what something tastes like only because of its label or we can see what it is. If we were to blindfold a person and make him describe the texture of a rock and a pebble, he might not be very accurate in describing it unless he actually sees the size of the rock and the pebble. Usually, in perception, the confirmation by another sense is required in order to fully believe in what we see, hear, taste, smell, or touch. Helen Keller must have perceived the world in a very different way as compared to us. Losing two of her most important senses that help us perceive the world, her certainty of knowledge would be questioned. Certainty depends on perception, and perception depends on senses working together, and senses working together depends on reason and language, all of this combined is what gets us closest to quest of pathway of absolute truth we intend to seek. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...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. To what extent can we trust our perception?

    deserve to be killed, while some (e.g. most Christians) believe that it is wrong and that it only encourages and contributes to a violence vicious cycle. The same occurs for abortion - some people believe that abortion should be allowed, as it is a personal choice to terminate a pregnancy- , while others see it as murder.

  2. When should we trust our senses to give us truth?

    The nature of our sense organs do not allow us to fully perceive our environment in its entirety. While our 5 senses give us valuable information about the environment, they each have a limited range of sensitivity and capture only certain kinds of data within their scope of ability.

  1. This essay will explore how sense cannot be trusted to give us the whole ...

    However, once the stick is taken out of the water, it is straight again. So as humans we question which one is the 'true' shape of the stick, is it bent or straight, and if what we are seeing is the truth?

  2. Art is a lie that brings us closer to the truth- Pablo Picasso. Discuss.

    People may say that art as an imitation of reality is nowhere close to being a lie that brings us closer to reality, for, it is in fact an imitation of reality, and to call it a lie, is to call reality a lie.

  1. Free essay

    When should we trust our senses to give us truth?

    As it must be true for it to be knowledge, even the abstract without placement in reality could be true. There are historical examples of people that perceive their environment differently through a phenomenon or illness known as 'voices'. People in this situation hear voices only they can hear, talk to them and to each other.

  2. When should we trust our senses to give us truth?

    They have seen that the objects fall at the same time and heard one thump in the ground. So their senses have permitted them to obtain the common truth that all objects fall at the same rate during and after observing the fallen objects.

  1. To what extent do our senses give us knowledge of the world as it ...

    This wavelength is very near the color of violet while still being within the boundaries of blue?s wavelength. The brain then processes this information; the wavelength of 494 nanometers that is, and then organizes it by saying that the light is blue.

  2. Tok vocabularies - defining terms like "Truth" and "Belief"

    It is similar to ?to know?. What you know is knowledge. As mentioned it is very important that you have the right knowledge and the appropriate amount of knowledge. The quality of your life depends on the amount of knowledge you have.

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