Is it reality that we perceive

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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 7th, 2017, 7:36 am 

mitchellmckain wrote:
RJG wrote:Do we perceive ‘things’ directly; as they really are?

Perception is a system of processing sensory data from things in the environment. So, yes, what we perceive is the thing as it is. But the perception is not the thing itself.

So then when we see a tree out in front of us, what is IT that we are actually looking at? ...are we looking at the ‘perception’ (the processed/translated sensory data)? …or the 'tree itself' (the raw sensory data)?

And if it is the 'tree itself', then how can we possibly 'know' that we are seeing this tree?

We can't 'know' (or recognize) what we see until AFTER our brain/memory finishes it's processing!

We can only perceive (and have access to the) inside; 'perception' side of the wall, and NOT to the outside; 'reality' side (where things are as they really are!)
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 7th, 2017, 10:41 am 

We can't see the picture until AFTER it is processed.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby Braininvat on August 7th, 2017, 12:56 pm 

Seems to be two differing definitions of perception, that causes RJG and others to talk past each other. Perception is a process, or perception is a thing. If the former, then one can indeed look at a tree, and this process of looking is called perception. If the latter, then more skepticism focuses on something as it is presented as a picture in the brain. In the former, the tree is actually PART of the process and, as such, carries more ontological weight. The tree, in the process view, has a vital causal role in our statement, "I see a tree." As we understand that causal role better (the tree is composed of a certain kind of matter, of chemicals that absorb some wavelengths of light and reflect others, and those reflected wavelengths go to the retina and are [etc.]), we have a better leverage on understanding reality and less skepticism about the object of perception.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 7th, 2017, 2:00 pm 

RJG » August 7th, 2017, 6:36 am wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:
RJG wrote:Do we perceive ‘things’ directly; as they really are?

Perception is a system of processing sensory data from things in the environment. So, yes, what we perceive is the thing as it is. But the perception is not the thing itself.

So then when we see a tree out in front of us, what is IT that we are actually looking at? ...are we looking at the ‘perception’ (the processed/translated sensory data)? …or the 'tree itself' (the raw sensory data)?

Changing the words will not change my answer. We are looking at the tree itself. But the tree itself is not entering into our mind or brain. We are looking at the tree itself by means of the sensory data. To perceive (including see) a thing means we are gathering and interpreting data from the thing itself.

RJG » August 7th, 2017, 6:36 am wrote:And if it is the 'tree itself', then how can we possibly 'know' that we are seeing this tree?

We come to the state of knowledge, which is living our lives accordingly, by finding consistency in the totality of our experiences and perceptions. We see the tree. We touch the tree. We climb the tree. We use the tree (for whatever purpose). We compare the tree to other trees and to other things. We study its position, behavior, substance and nature.

RJG » August 7th, 2017, 6:36 am wrote:We can't 'know' (or recognize) what we see until AFTER our brain/memory finishes it's processing!

Absolutely! Objective reality is the abstraction. But that does not make it any less real.

RJG » August 7th, 2017, 6:36 am wrote:We can only perceive (and have access to the) inside; 'perception' side of the wall, and NOT to the outside; 'reality' side (where things are as they really are!)

Nonsense. That is like saying... because we have to use a key to get through a locked door, we can never get to the other side. Just because we have to use our mind to perceive the universe doesn't mean we cannot get outside our mind. The truth is that the mind is more difficult to perceive than what is outside the mind, because all the machinery of perception evolved to give us more information about the outside environment and thus it has to be stretched quite far in order to turn that process back upon ourselves.

You may say, "no way, I know what is in my own mind first more than anything." Ah... but surely you have heard that things are not quite so simple. We know the false facade of the set in the movie our brain plays for us. But there is much more behind the scenes that we cannot see directly. That is why the timing is off and how we can lie to ourselves, which in the false simplistic view of things should be logically impossible.

Braininvat » August 7th, 2017, 11:56 am wrote:Seems to be two differing definitions of perception, that causes RJG and others to talk past each other. Perception is a process, or perception is a thing. If the former, then one can indeed look at a tree, and this process of looking is called perception. If the latter, then more skepticism focuses on something as it is presented as a picture in the brain. In the former, the tree is actually PART of the process and, as such, carries more ontological weight. The tree, in the process view, has a vital causal role in our statement, "I see a tree." As we understand that causal role better (the tree is composed of a certain kind of matter, of chemicals that absorb some wavelengths of light and reflect others, and those reflected wavelengths go to the retina and are [etc.]), we have a better leverage on understanding reality and less skepticism about the object of perception.

You are of course, quite correct. Your analysis is both insightful and rather helpful, for I had not thought of it like that. Perhaps thinking in terms of process has become so routine for me, I sometimes fail to recognize when people are doing otherwise.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 7th, 2017, 3:17 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote:We are looking at the tree itself by means of the sensory data.

So then are we really looking at A) the “tree itself” or at B) the “sensory data”?

…or are we really looking at C) the “translation” of the sensory data into something meaningful that we then recognize as a thing called “tree”?

C>B>A. ...is it because we see C, that we then assume A?

At what point in the "process" do we KNOW we are looking at a thing called “tree”? Is it before or after we recognize it?
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 7th, 2017, 3:42 pm 

RJG » August 7th, 2017, 2:17 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:We are looking at the tree itself by means of the sensory data.

So then are we really looking at A) the “tree itself” or at B) the “sensory data”?

…or are we really looking at C) the “translation” of the sensory data into something meaningful that we then recognize as a thing called “tree”?


You really need to stop this. You are not going to redirect my thinking. So read all of my post not just the first sentence. Keep this up and you are just making me repeat myself over and over again.

We are really looking at the tree. To look at the sensory data is a meta-process which requires considerable more effort, difficulties and even more of our abilities for abstraction and interpretation. Looking at the tree requires sensory data and translation but this does not alter what we are looking at.

RJG » August 7th, 2017, 2:17 pm wrote:C>B>A. It is because we see C, that we then assume A?

Incorrect. We see A, not B or C, and only when we do the much more difficult process of looking ourselves, do we finally come to see B and C as a result of more abstraction and interpretation rather than less.

RJG » August 7th, 2017, 2:17 pm wrote:At what point in the "process" do we KNOW we are looking at a thing called “tree”?

We know we are looking at a thing called "tree" after a process called "recognition" which connects our perception of the tree to all of our other perceptions of the world and finds a place for that particular perception in that context.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 7th, 2017, 4:29 pm 

RJG wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:We are looking at the tree itself by means of the sensory data.

So then are we really looking at A) the “tree itself” or at B) the “sensory data”?

…or are we really looking at C) the “translation” of the sensory data into something meaningful that we then recognize as a thing called “tree”?

RJG wrote:C>B>A. It is because we see C, that we then assume A

mitchellmckain wrote:Incorrect. We see A, not B or C…

Mitchell, can you not see that you are only 'inferring’ A (from C)???

Can anyone else see this, …or am I just crazy?
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 7th, 2017, 7:33 pm 

RJG » August 7th, 2017, 3:29 pm wrote:
mitchellmckain wrote:
RJG wrote:C>B>A. It is because we see C, that we then assume A

Incorrect. We see A, not B or C…

Mitchell, can you not see that you are only 'inferring’ A (from C)???

No you cannot infer from something you do not even see. 500 years ago people knew the painting "Mona Lisa" existed because they saw it, they did not infer from photons which they knew nothing about. Don't confuse physical processes with rational processes. Photons, retina, and nerve cells are all required in the process of seeing something but this has absolutely NOTHING to do with the rational process of inference. That something is physically necessary to the perception of a thing does not make it a logical premise for the belief that it exists.

RJG » August 7th, 2017, 3:29 pm wrote:Can anyone else see this, …or am I just crazy?

People are not crazy just because they think differently. But I do think you are confusing a great deal of terminology.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby RJG on August 8th, 2017, 2:10 pm 

mitchellmckain wrote:No you cannot infer from something you do not even see.

Agreed!

I see the “mental image” in my head, and then infer the “thing". Whereas you claim to just see the “thing itself", …agreed?
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby curiosity on August 8th, 2017, 7:07 pm 

[quoteActual reality" if it exists, can never be perceived, understood or experienced in its entirety. (At least not by any one individual)][/quote]

I have to agree with your point of view, edy420 reality itself is an ongoing event, so understanding it in its entirety would mean being aware of and understanding everything that has ever happened. (or ever will happen.) Even if we tried limited our goal to understanding reality from the big bang until the current moment, our brain would be incapable of holding such an immense volume of information.
what would make it even more pointless, is that unless we know what caused the big-bang we can never truly understand reality.

So... what obstacles block our path to an understanding of reality? All that's needed is a time machine,then microscopes millions of times more powerful than any that currently exist, plus of course telescopes capable of letting us see in detail, far out and beyond the current horizon of the visible universe...... ( maybe a few more equally simple to construct devices too.) So nothing truly difficult!!!" I predict we will have a total understanding of reality by half past three next tuesday afternoon.
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby mitchellmckain on August 8th, 2017, 9:55 pm 

curiosity » August 8th, 2017, 6:07 pm wrote:So... what obstacles block our path to an understanding of reality? All that's needed is a time machine,then microscopes millions of times more powerful than any that currently exist, plus of course telescopes capable of letting us see in detail, far out and beyond the current horizon of the visible universe...... ( maybe a few more equally simple to construct devices too.) So nothing truly difficult!!!" I predict we will have a total understanding of reality by half past three next tuesday afternoon.


What you have done is decided that reality ends just beyond the horizon you can see. History tells us that when we reach beyond our current horizon we find even more vast horizons beyond them, with not only new frontiers but new devices with which to explore them. How can you assume that reality let alone this universe is even finite? An infinite reality would never be known no matter how good our tools may be.

This is not in the least buying into Kuhn's nonsense about scientific revolutions. It is another lesson of history that can find new horizons without overthrowing any of what we already know. Nor would I assume that reality ends with what can be seen with devices of some kind. We know that the universe had a beginning in a singularity where all the science we know breaks down. But how can we make devices operating on natural law to see into portions of reality where such laws do not even apply?
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Re: Is it reality that we perceive

Postby philosophik on August 17th, 2017, 6:04 am 

curiosity » August 8th, 2017, 6:07 pm wrote:

So... what obstacles block our path to an understanding of reality? All that's needed is a time machine,then microscopes millions of times more powerful than any that currently exist, plus of course telescopes capable of letting us see in detail, far out and beyond the current horizon of the visible universe...... ( maybe a few more equally simple to construct devices too.) So nothing truly difficult!!!" I predict we will have a total understanding of reality by half past three next tuesday afternoon.

The only obstacles that prevent you from understanding reality are the wrong ideas you have about yourself. Reality is here Now, and you are 'that' which imparts Reality into being. You are what makes the universe possible; with no 'Self' to experience the universe, there is no universe. Come to know who you really are by investigating deeply into your being.


Ask yourself, "Who Am I?" Ponder deep into this question and you will see that you are not what you percieve yourself to be. How can you be? It is impossible to be what you percieve. If you are not what you percieve, how can you be a person? Do you not percieve yourself as a person, a bundle of fears, habits, and desires born from memory in a physical body? Know that this is not the real you, but a projection from the Real--which is the true Self--the Supreme Reality.

The only way to understand true Reality is not with knowledge gained through perception and inference, but rather by Being Reality--which you are already, you just imagine yourself not to Be by pretending you are what you are not.
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