We see and understand things not as they are but as we are. Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing.

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“We see and understand things not as they are but as we are.” Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing.

Because of our different upbringings, prejudices, and viewpoints, the way we perceive or understand certain things may be different from how they are in reality. The prescribed title implies that instead of perceiving or understanding things for the way they truly are in reality, there are things that get in the way of our doing so. This essay will examine three such things that get in the way: our sense perception, emotions and language as knowers. In order to examine how these three ways of knowing affect reality or truth, the following knowledge issue will be used:

To what extent does a knower’s sense perception, language, emotion, or reason shape reality?

Firstly, Sense Perception, in this case, is simply what the eyes see, ears hear, nose smells, or body feels. It is what the knower is experiencing through his or her sense perceptions. Secondly, Emotion refers to the emotions that a knower may feel or experience at any given point. In other words, it is the emotional state of the knower. Lastly, what reality refers to is the world of objective knowledge or truth. Furthermore, the reality of something is not subjective, but rather objective. What this essay examines is how sense perception, language, and emotion interact with reality and how, in certain cases, they shape it into something that is not reality.

To begin with, Sense Perception and its role in the area of knowledge, Natural Sciences, will be examined. In the field of natural sciences, sense perception often alters the way a knower perceives things. For example, when a straight stick is placed under water, a knower would see that it looks as if it is bent. However, in reality, a stick does not bend by simply placing it under water. It is due to refraction of light that this illusion is created and more specifically, the bending of light rays as they move from water to the air. What this example implies is that our senses can play tricks on us. Even though a knower might see with his own eyes that the stick appears to be bent, in reality it is not. In this sense, sense perception is not always a reliable source for obtaining truth and in certain situations, shapes reality significantly. In addition, this example reinforces the fact that we, as knowers, see and understand things as “we are” and not as they are.

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Similarly, if the role of Language in the area of knowledge, History, is considered, a similar phenomenon may occur. For example, sometimes propaganda, through the use of persuasive language, is used to influence people and distort the truth. This distortion creates the illusion that something is true, when in fact it is not. Case in point, in Nazi Germany, hundreds of propaganda posters, and other forms of media, condemning Jewish people were created by the Nazi Party. Of course, the entire Jewish population cannot be defined by a single party’s opinion of it, or any single person for that matter. However, ...

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