A personal perspective on our knowledge of reality

Wed Jul 22, 7: We 'define' direct perception with 'thought'. All definition is perspectival, it seems.

A personal perspective on our knowledge of reality

Rummel When we perceive any object of a familiar kind, much of what appears subjectively to be immediately given is really derived from past experience. In learning to draw, it is necessary to acquire the art of representing things according to the sensation, not according to the perception.

And the visual appearance is filled out with feeling of what the object would be like to touch, and so on. What is the relationship among things-in-themselves, our sensation of them, and our understanding?

Is understanding nothing more than the ideas generated by our sensations, as Locke believed? Or are there distinct Cartesian realms of thought and sense? And is there an external reality apart from our sensations? Philosophers have troubled over such questions, for engaging them is to wrestle with the fundamentals of our ontologies and epistemologies.

Until recent times, however, philosophers have had to deal with such questions without the help of any systematic psychological or relevant physiological knowledge. The philosopher was left largely to his own good sense, thought, and intuition.

Now physiological and especially neurological knowledge, psychological laboratory research, and empirical analyses by Gestalt, field, and personality theorists, and psychoanalytic experience have given us a solid base for our understanding of perception. Rather than review the fascinating philosophical views of perception and their relationship to thought and reality, I will move directly to a rough sketch of the perceptual field and only allude to some of the more pertinent philosophical ideas in the process.

Two preliminary asides should be made, however. First, the reader who is looking for some psychological orientation toward violence and war from this book, The Dynamic Psychological Fieldmay be impatient with and curious about this extensive psychophilosophical digression into perception.

I can only assert here what I will show in a later volume: For example, an understanding of such central political concepts as "status quo" and "status quo testing" requires comprehending perception and how sociopolitical meanings such as military threat or political intent are carried by events such as preparing bomb shelters or promoting a specific general to the politbureau.

Students of violence and war only recently have tackled the problem of perception, 1 but in doing so have adopted the narrowest and most sterile stimulus-response conception of Thomas Hobbes and the successor psychological behaviorism of Watson.

Attention to its nature will help me eventually explain why, for example, blacks should suddenly riot in American cities or some defenders of the American role in the Vietnam War should refer to it as the war to prevent World War III. The field perspective to be presented integrates salient aspects of what psychologists and sociologists have so far kept apart: Perception is a confrontation between an inward directed vector of external reality compelling awareness and an outward-directed vector of physiological, cultural, and psychological transformation.

Where these vectors clash, where they balance each other, is what we perceive. This in sum is my view of perception.

As a way of unpacking the complexities and explaining the nature of this view, I will begin with a simple rough sketch of perception. This sketch will treat perception as the end of a sequence of psychophysical processes, invested with meaning and orientation by a cultural matrix.

The whole process can be presented in commonsense terms, and its description will serve as a useful springboard to understanding perception as a balance of power between inner and outer-directed vectors or powers.

To begin with, initially assume a reality outside our minds and bodies containing potentials and dispositions. Any aspect of this realm with the power to stimulate our senses for example, sounds, heat, color, motion may be called a determinable. The determinable tries to become determinate or manifest as stimuli that strike our sensory receptors through a medium, as sound waves are carried by an atmosphere, or heat by a solid.

What is a stimulus and what is a carrier or medium varies from sensation to sensation. Stimuli and carriers may be interchanged from one instant to another, the relative role depending on the perceptual focus and the determinable.

The atmosphere may carry one stimulus and then generate stimuli itself such as wind ; the movement of a solid body may be stimulus to the eye, then the body itself may carry heat to our touch.

A personal perspective on our knowledge of reality

Complex neural paths transmit the result from the receptors to somewhere in the brain. Let me call the resulting deposit in the brain the perceptible, and the neurological transmission system between receptors and perceptible the physiological medium, as shown in Figure 7. Clearly what is directed toward us as a stimulus may differ from what is received as a perceptible.

The external medium may alter the stimulus as water does soundor there may be no medium present to convey it voices cannot be heard through a vacuum. Moreover, what is transmitted to our sensory receptors cannot be carried with fidelity to the brain. We can receive only a limited range of sounds, smells, and radiant energy; and what is within receivable range is altered physically in transmission to the brain.

Thus, for example, the impulse frequency conveyed from the basilar membrane of the cochlea in the inner ear is not the same frequency as that of the impinging sound.

Animals clearly differ in their limitations for physiologically transmitting stimuli carried to their receptors. Each selectively interprets external reality physiologically within its own sensory sphere. There is a sensory sphere for us, a different one for dogs, another for cats, and so on.Personal Perspective by Tom Kenyon.

Let me state here, my understanding of the situation. I am basically a pragmatist. For all of the "far‑out" kind of work I do, if it doesn’t have practical implications, I am not interested.

In philosophy, a point of view is a specified or stated manner of consideration, an attitude how one sees or thinks of something, as in "from my personal point of view". This figurative usage of the expression as attested since In this meaning, the usage is synonymous with one of .

The typical cultural perspective of reality is that a god thinks, speaks, writes and takes action through its emissaries, in consequence producing the realities which humankind interprets as the ‘’good things in life’’, or the complete ‘’fuck-ups in life’’, depending on an individual’s interpretation of reality.

C) we never have objective knowledge, but only our subjective perspectives. D) we tend to distort reality, but with care we can learn to reason objectively. According to your text, Georg W. F. Hegel, the nineteenth-century German philosopher, although he himself was not a relativist, provided a framework for historical relativism.

May 27,  · That if perspective were reality then we could change our perspective and reality around us would change. This is most obviously not the case. For let us say that I could trick my mind into perceiving via sights, via sound and feeling that I were flying.

Constructivism in Psychology: Personal Construct Psychology, Radical Constructivism, and Social Constructionism realities exist apart from our knowledge or consciousness of them, the whole world being dependent on the mind” (p.

). limited realists assume that the correspondence between knowledge and reality is imperfect. According to.

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