"In order to find out how things really are, one must understand the filters thorough which one perceives the world" - Discuss and evaluate this claim.
“In order to find out how things really are, one must understand the filters thorough which one perceives the world.” Discuss and evaluate this claim.
As human beings, we are not born perfect. Our senses, which perceive the world, are limited therefore creating bias and there are other factors such as emotion, and logic, which also filter our perception of the world as it is. The claim to be discussed is, “In order to find out how things really are, one must understand the filters through which one perceives the world.” Some of the areas of knowledge in which our perception is limited are the subjects of Biology in the Natural Sciences group, languages, mathematics and the art group. The limitations of our senses and other factors such as emotion, and logic contribute towards the filtering of our perception of reality when perceiving the content of natural sciences, arts, languages, mathematics and various other areas of knowledge. Furthermore, the filtering sometimes may contribute towards the enhanced perception of the material contained in areas of knowledge such as languages, natural sciences, mathematics and arts.
In my opinion, the claim, “In order to find out how things really are, one must understand the filters through which one perceives the world”, is true to a certain extent, as our perception of various areas of knowledge is altered due to the filtering process. To support this claim, I will use biology in connection with natural sciences, languages, mathematics and arts in order to discuss the various factors, which contributes towards filtering our perception. But on the other hand, sometimes filters such as the limitations of our senses and other factors such as emotion, and logic do not contribute towards the filtering of our perception of reality as the opportunity for the filters to come in to play is not available in some aspects of biology, art and other areas of knowledge.
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How can emotion act as a filter in one’s perception of the world as it is? ‘Emotion’, by definition is, a mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, reverence, hate, and love. When discussing emotion as a filter, arts and languages can be considered as some of the areas of knowledge, which undergoes the filtering process, by emotion. “The very essence of literature is the war between emotion and intellect”, stated the 1978 Nobel Laureate in Literature winner Isaac Bashevis Singer. Considering the above given quotation, it can be said to be true as emotion plays a significantly active role in the arts group. A painting done by an artist with the motive of provoking sorrow may do so by painting an appropriate picture such as a lonely sunset in order to convey an idea of sorrow and loneliness to the person viewing the artist’s work. The mentality of the person viewing the drawing would interpret the work into an emotion of sorrow, which enhances the viewer’s perception of the idea, which was conveyed by the artist. Languages also undergo the process of filtering, by emotion as it can be said that emotion also enhances the information perceived by language. If a person says, “I feel depressed”, the listener can interpret the emotion not completely but to a certain extent.
However, this claim, which I made, can be regarded as a biased opinion. Previously I mentioned that emotion enhances the viewer’s perception of the ideas, which is conveyed in areas of knowledge such as arts and languages. But, when considering the arts group, in literature, sometimes the poet may express his ideas in a literal manner and emotions would not be required to interpret or enhance the idea behind the literary work. When considering languages, sometimes the language communicated will be direct in manner and the information will be clearly perceived by the receiving party without the use of emotion. Therefore, we can see that the filter of emotions is not sometimes used in the filtering process involved in the perception of the contents of various areas of knowledge.
How can logic act as a filter in one’s perception of reality? ‘Logic’ by definition is, the study of the principles of reasoning, especially of the structure of propositions as distinguished from their content and of method and validity in deductive reasoning. Logic can be divided into two areas, which are deductive logic and inductive logic. Mathematics can be considered as an area of knowledge where the filter of deductive logic is used to perceive and understand the contents and concepts. The concept of deductive logic is as follows. There is a rule and there is a premise, and the conclusion is drawn using the rule and the premise. Considering mathematics, a rule is, whole numbers are integers. A premise can be that two is a number. Therefore, we can draw the conclusion that two is an integer. If we remove the filter of logic from mathematics, the content of mathematics will be numbers and signs, which makes no sense. However, when considering biology in connection to natural sciences group, the filter it uses is that of inductive logic. The concept of inductive logic is as follows. The rule is based upon many individual observations. Considering biology, a rule is that viruses cause diseases. This rule is formed using the observations of many biologists who have performed experiments in order to prove the validity of their hypothesis. Understanding the filters of deductive and inductive logic will help us understand the problems with the filters we use to perceive the subject content. A problem with deductive logic is that the rule and the premise is not always true, therefore the conclusion can be in doubt. And a problem in inductive logic is that one different observation will result in the conclusion drawn can be in doubt. Thus, we can see that understanding of the filters help us understand problems, which are created in perceiving subject content through the filters of deductive and inductive logic.
Nevertheless, deductive and inductive logic do not always act as filters in one’s perception of reality. Logic does not come into play in the area of knowledge relating to arts. There can be no possible logic behind a painting. Therefore it counter claims my previous claim that one needs to understand the filters through which one perceives the world in order to find out how things really are.
How can the limitations of our senses act as a filter in one’s perception of the world as it really is? Our eyes provide 85% of the information we archive. But our strength of vision is very limited, and our brain fills the gaps where our eyes fail to see. When considering biology in connection with natural sciences, we cannot see bacteria wit our naked eyes, therefore we use the aid of a microscope to perceive the reality if the existence of micro organisms. But we cannot trust what we see thorough the microscope as we are unable to fully trust our own vision as our brain fills blank spaces in our perceived sightings thus creating a biased point of view. Therefore by understanding the filtering process due to the limitations of our senses we are able to perceive the aspect of reality related to the specific are of knowledge.
But this claim is not always true. When considering the mathematics groups, our senses play an insignificant role in our perception of the various concepts. The concepts are not filtered due to the limitations, as they do not affect our perception since the figures are directly presented and are logically interpreted.
Despite the counterclaims regarding the fact that the understanding of the limitations of our senses and other factors such as emotion, and logic acting as filters, my opinion remains solid. The limitations of our senses and other factors such as emotion, and logic have to be understood in order to perceive the reality of the contents studies in various areas of knowledge. The filters such as emotion enhance the ideas provoked in an area of knowledge and the understanding of the filters used such as our limitations and logic, help us understand the reality of an area of knowledge by elimination of error which could be caused by a filter. However, due to the unavailability of opportunity for filters to take on active roles, a counter claim derives from a different point of view.
“Isaac Bashevis Singer” Google. March 16th
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