Perception and Reality

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Phenomexistentialist
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Re: Perception and Reality

Post by Phenomexistentialist » May 21st, 2017, 4:41 am

Eaglerising wrote:Is our perception our reality? Or, is reality something different from perception?
I ask these questions because I was wondering if our perception prevents us from accurately seeing “what is?” If it does, then everyone’s view of “what is” would be different, unique. And if everyone’s perception is different, does it prevent us from understanding one another?
One of the hardest and deepest questions in philosophy IMO. I tend to straddle the line. I think that some of our perception is grounded in what we could call an objective, external reality. i.e.There is a coffee cup filled with coffee sitting next to me. Based on how we define those words (and assuming no radical skepticism), my seeing the coffee cup with coffee is an accurate perception of the proximity of a certain object to my body. That's our perception, and it accords with what we take to be reality.

Then things get murkier. Is the coffee cup a real solid object, or is it nothing but a collection of molecules bouncing around that we can't perceive through the senses. For my part, I think reality and perception DO match up here. It is correct to ay that there is a solid object filled with coffee sitting next to me. It's also correct that reality differs from my perception on the level of physics.

So I guess my final answer is that perception *can* lead us to have a partial grasp on reality as it is. But this grasp is only partial, and the real truths of the world go way beyond what we directly perceive via our senses.

Hope that helps!

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MrE
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Re: Perception and Reality

Post by MrE » June 13th, 2018, 1:34 pm

Your perception is your reality, however this differs from physical reality.

For example, two people are working at an office doing the same task. This is the physical reality of the situation, however their individual perception of the reality of their work may be different. One finds the task simple, enjoyable, and fulfilling. The other finds the same task complex, frustrating, and a waste of time. Their perceptions of the situation are quite different, but the physical reality remains constant.

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Re: Perception and Reality

Post by Burning ghost » June 14th, 2018, 1:03 am

For congenially blind people “colour” is both “real” and not “real.” In one sense it is real because they take for granted what other people tell them (why shouldn’t they?) and not real because they’ve never had the sensible experience.

“Unicorns” are “real” and “one” is “real” because they are items we understand.
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Greta
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Re: Perception and Reality

Post by Greta » June 14th, 2018, 2:43 am

This is Kant: noumena and phenomena. Kant postulated that one might be able to perceive noumena via what he called "intellectual intuition" but I won't pretend that I know quite what he meant by that. Educated guesswork?

How would we know if the universe was inside a giant black hole, or if our view of the universe is the point of view of an subatomic particle amongst others? How would we know if this is the first universe, the billionth universe, or a unique fluke destined to return to an eternal void?

We filter out an awful lot of our reality. What we actually see via the senses in a small focused area surrounded by a blur, and much the same could be said about what we hear, smell and feel. The brain calculates on the fly, based on the relatively small amount of clear information and much more plentiful unclear information to create its best estimation of those fuzzy parts - and even postulate things beyond perception range and in the future. Quite a machine!

I agree that what we perceive is, to a fair degree, real. Our perceptions are just very incomplete and distorted to an extent that we cannot know.

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Re: Perception and Reality

Post by Burning ghost » June 14th, 2018, 5:49 am

Well ...

These are his words:
“If by noumenon we mean a thing insofar as it is not an object of our sensible intuition, and make abstarction from our mode of intuition, it may be called noumenon in a negative sense of teh term. If, however, by noumenon we mean an object of a non-sensible intuition, and admit thereby a special mode of intuitoin, namely, the intellectual mode - which, however, is not our own, nor one of which we can understand even the possibility - then this would be noumenon in a positive sense of the term.”

Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, Transcendental Doctrine of Elements, Transcendental Logic: Transcendental Analytic (B307-308)
Note: by “sensible intuition” Kant is referring to space and time, and how we only “know” anything by way of this intuition. The “negative” is the abstraction the positive is merely that which we can never bring to sensible light by way of abstraction - is it, in its utterance, falsified because what is spoken of is habituated in sensible intuition, as it must be to be “understand”. If there is an “intellectual intuition” we have nothing to say about it other than by “negative” means. The very postulation is in fact negative for this reason.

I admti this is somewhat of a hard idea to wrap our head around because our use of speech interferes with meaningful content. Langauge is always a direct reference to/through sensible intuition (we cannot talk without time or space!) What Kant was getting at is that this does not confine all to mere sensibility, but that this “mere” sensibility is hwo we “know”. We’re currently, and perhaps eternally, confined to sensible intuition in terms of communicable ideas and thoughts - for what I hope are quite obvious reasons.
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Present awareness
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Re: Perception and Reality

Post by Present awareness » June 14th, 2018, 6:36 am

“The sky is blue” you say it and I say it,but how can we know that the colour that I’m seeing is the same colour that you’re seeing? The only thing we know for sure is that whatever colour we see, we call that blue. Everything that you experience and perceive, is your own personal reality, 8 billion people, 8 billion realities.
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.

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Re: Perception and Reality

Post by chewybrian » June 14th, 2018, 7:35 am

MrE wrote:
June 13th, 2018, 1:34 pm
Your perception is your reality, however this differs from physical reality.

For example, two people are working at an office doing the same task. This is the physical reality of the situation, however their individual perception of the reality of their work may be different. One finds the task simple, enjoyable, and fulfilling. The other finds the same task complex, frustrating, and a waste of time. Their perceptions of the situation are quite different, but the physical reality remains constant.
This is a great example to show the need for and power of something like stoic philosophy. You can't alter the outside world (at least, usually not enough to change the situation to fit your desires--in fact, your actions may have the opposite effect of the one you intended). However, you can change your desires to fit the situation. Remember, too, that others act from their own perceptions; it's almost never about you!

You do have nearly full control over your attitude. Change your attitude, and you change your perception of what is happening, and in effect, you can make the world a better place for yourself. Whether you are able to actually change the world or the attitudes of others in the process is another matter.

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Re: Perception and Reality

Post by Burning ghost » June 14th, 2018, 11:38 am

Present awareness wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 6:36 am
“The sky is blue” you say it and I say it,but how can we know that the colour that I’m seeing is the same colour that you’re seeing? The only thing we know for sure is that whatever colour we see, we call that blue. Everything that you experience and perceive, is your own personal reality, 8 billion people, 8 billion realities.
Science? You know, measure the stuff. How the data is experienced doesn’t change the input, regardless of,the bariety of possible experiences due to how, and if, all the data is processed and felt by the individual. This is why believing you can fly doesn’t make you sprout wings and fly off into the sun set ... although you may think you are doing so.

Then we step into metaphysics of what if I am the dream of a dream, and such mystical thoughts.
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MrE
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Re: Perception and Reality

Post by MrE » June 14th, 2018, 2:57 pm

chewybrian wrote:
June 14th, 2018, 7:35 am
MrE wrote:
June 13th, 2018, 1:34 pm
Your perception is your reality, however this differs from physical reality.

For example, two people are working at an office doing the same task. This is the physical reality of the situation, however their individual perception of the reality of their work may be different. One finds the task simple, enjoyable, and fulfilling. The other finds the same task complex, frustrating, and a waste of time. Their perceptions of the situation are quite different, but the physical reality remains constant.
This is a great example to show the need for and power of something like stoic philosophy. You can't alter the outside world (at least, usually not enough to change the situation to fit your desires--in fact, your actions may have the opposite effect of the one you intended). However, you can change your desires to fit the situation. Remember, too, that others act from their own perceptions; it's almost never about you!

You do have nearly full control over your attitude. Change your attitude, and you change your perception of what is happening, and in effect, you can make the world a better place for yourself. Whether you are able to actually change the world or the attitudes of others in the process is another matter.
Agreed. It is more difficult to change external factors as they are not under your control. You can change internal factors - yourself. You can control your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, which then begin to change your perceptions and reality. A quote I like is "When you begin to change the way you look at things, the things you look at begin to change."

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