Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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mr533473
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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by mr533473 » July 1st, 2018, 11:32 am

In response to the scenario:

If you have only ever existed behind this "porthole" and never experienced the world outside then I don't know where you would have conceived of illusion (or had any experience of your perceptions being falsified) and would inevitably have no reason to doubt the reality of the baggage and food service people. You would be certain that they are real in so far as how you have seen them. You wouldn't infer they are skin, muscle and bone, but surely that they exist in some sense and are real. Besides the glass window that you can touch, they would be the most real thing you are aware of given your limited scope. If you ask if one would be right in assuming they are real then yes. While you state it is your "ONLY connection to reality" you do state it is connection to reality all the same.

In response to the ultimate question:

While I don't thing the scenario you posed necessarily leads to the same question, the question is a straightforward one. It's good that you have defined "real" for us too. If the definition is "exists with certainty independent of our perceptions" then it's easy. No, at least on their own, perceptions can surely not be used to verify that which is independent of them.

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RJG
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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by RJG » July 2nd, 2018, 8:43 am

avatarogbaby_d wrote:...but for certain, it is real.
What makes you so "certain" that it's "real"?


mr533473 wrote:If you have only ever existed behind this "porthole"...
I have! -- This "porthole" is called "consciousness".

mr533473 wrote: ...and never experienced the world outside…
Correct. I have never experienced the world outside! -- My only view of reality is through this porthole of "consciousness".

mr533473 wrote:...then I don't know where you would have conceived of illusion (or had any experience of your perceptions being falsified) and would inevitably have no reason to doubt the reality of the baggage and food service people.
Knowing that my view of reality is only through this porthole, gives me doubt of the realness of those perceived objects.

And knowing that, without consciousness (i.e. without this porthole), there is no view of anything!

mr533473 wrote:You would be certain that they are real in so far as how you have seen them.
Not so. -- All I can know with certainty is that my porthole (consciousness) exists. Those objects "out there" cannot be known as 'real' or 'certain'.

mr533473 wrote:If you ask if one would be right in assuming they are real then yes. While you state it is your "ONLY connection to reality" you do state it is connection to reality all the same.
But a 'perceived' reality is not necessarily the 'real' reality.

How can we possibly know which of our perceptions (views through this porthole) are of real things?

mr533473 wrote:If the definition is "exists with certainty independent of our perceptions" then it's easy. No, at least on their own, perceptions can surely not be used to verify that which is independent of them.
Agreed. Perceptions cannot vouch for themselves; one perception cannot logically vouch for another.

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mr533473
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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by mr533473 » July 2nd, 2018, 9:24 am

mr533473 wrote:If you have only ever existed behind this "porthole"...
I have! -- This "porthole" is called "consciousness".

The porthole you posed is an plane window out of which is your only field of view (not consciousness) you seem to change what the porthole represents, initially saying you look out through it and know it is real, then it's actually your consciousness. This would mean there is no longer you and the porthole but you are the porthole and the analogy is kind of redundant.

mr533473 wrote: ...and never experienced the world outside…
I have never experienced the world outside! -- My only view of reality is through this porthole of "consciousness".

If you say "view of reality" you imply what is observed through the porthole is REALITY.
mr533473 wrote:...then I don't know where you would have conceived of illusion (or had any experience of your perceptions being falsified) and would inevitably have no reason to doubt the reality of the baggage and food service people.
Knowing that my view of reality is only through this porthole, gives me doubt of their realness.

And knowing that, without consciousness (i.e. without this porthole), there is no view of anything!

Why? You have created a character that knows of no other possibilities and would be incapable of doubt. If all you have is consciousness and all you are conscious of are your perceptions through the porthole... you have nothing to compel doubt. Take me through the thought process that leads you to doubting their reality.

mr533473 wrote:You would be certain that they are real in so far as how you have seen them.
Not so. -- All I can know with certainty is that my porthole (consciousness) exists. Those objects "out there" cannot be known as 'real' or 'certain'.

How do you know the porthole exists and why not doubt that?
mr533473 wrote:If you ask if one would be right in assuming they are real then yes. While you state it is your "ONLY connection to reality" you do state it is connection to reality all the same.
But a 'perceived' reality is not necessarily the 'real' reality.

How can we possibly know which of our perceptions (views through this porthole) are of real things?

You state that its a view of reality. You don't say a perception, you say a connection to reality. I think throughout this little scenario, you intend to pose something other than what you have actually written. It's not good and it's not good at getting to you ultimate question which as we see is really straight forward especially as it is answered in your definition of 'real'...
mr533473 wrote:If the definition is "exists with certainty independent of our perceptions" then it's easy. No, at least on their own, perceptions can surely not be used to verify that which is independent of them.
Agreed.
[/quote]

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by RJG » July 2nd, 2018, 12:24 pm

Hi Mr533473, firstly, I appreciate your very good comments. Secondly there is a (HTML) trick (on this forum), to making your comments more readable. For instance, when quoting someone, place the following in front of their words that you wish to quote: quote="person" surrounded by brackets [ ], and then end the quoted words with: /quote surrounded by brackets [ ]

mr533473 wrote:The porthole you posed is an plane window out of which is your only field of view (not consciousness) you seem to change what the porthole represents, initially saying you look out through it and know it is real, then it's actually your consciousness.
The airplane porthole was meant as an analogy of our conscious experiences (perceptions) to that which is (presumably) real.

mr533473 wrote:If you say "view of reality" you imply what is observed through the porthole is REALITY.
No, not so.

Our 'view'-of-reality (aka "perceptions") are one thing, and 'reality' itself, is another. I am NOT "implying", nor conflating, one as the other. These are TWO different things/concepts.

mr533473 wrote:Why? You have created a character that knows of no other possibilities and would be incapable of doubt. If all you have is consciousness and all you are conscious of are your perceptions through the porthole... you have nothing to compel doubt. Take me through the thought process that leads you to doubting their reality.
My perception of magic being real, does mean that magic is real. Nor do my perceptions; delusions/dreams/hallucinations/imaginations of a "flying pig" mean that a "flying pig" is real. ...I have doubts of the realness of my perceptions, ...don't you?

RJG wrote:All I can know with certainty is that my porthole (consciousness) exists. Those objects "out there" cannot be known as 'real' or 'certain'.
mr533473 wrote:How do you know the porthole exists and why not doubt that?
Although I can easily doubt those 'objects' that I view outside my porthole, I can never doubt my porthole itself (i.e. my 'viewing'; my ability to 'view' itself).

Consciously experiencing (i.e. 'viewing' through the porthole) itself is IMPOSSIBLE TO DOUBT/DENY. Any attempt to do so, only affirms it. ...any view of doubting would still be a view! ...any experience of doubting/denying this 'experiencing', is still an experience!

The porthole exists with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY. ...whereas the objects that one sees (consciously experiences) through this porthole (aka "perceptions") may not exist; may not be real, ...we have no way of knowing.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Mark1955 » July 2nd, 2018, 1:52 pm

-1- wrote:
June 24th, 2018, 8:56 pm
Mark1955 wrote:
June 24th, 2018, 2:53 am

We all do it. This was simple example but the reality is that right now we all have unknown unknowns impacting our lives and they may be why the thing we expect to happen next doesn't.
You are fatally mixing up two concepts. Either you don't understand one of them, or else you just fake not understanding in order to carry on your point.
I don't think anyone died, but yes sort of and sort of not. If you believe there is such a thing as reality then you think cause and effect applies in reality because you think you've seen it happen. If however reality is just your deluded impressions then cause and effect is just one of them. Let's get a bit more extreme than bicycle cables. If we don't live in a real world but are just part of a simulation game structure, then everything is just part of the rules of the game. Whatever runs this game is clearly so much cleverer than us that we can't really understand it and it may not live in what we have been trained to think of as a real world.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Mark1955 » July 2nd, 2018, 2:06 pm

RJG wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 12:24 pm
Our 'view'-of-reality (aka "perceptions") are one thing, and 'reality' itself, is another. I am NOT "implying", nor conflating, one as the other. These are TWO different things/concepts.

How do you know this, how can you make statement about something you cannot perceive. Surely the assumption of an absolute 'reality' has to remain that, an assumption.
If you think you know the answer you probably don't understand the question.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by RJG » July 2nd, 2018, 3:29 pm

RJG wrote:Our 'view'-of-reality (aka "perceptions") are one thing, and 'reality' itself, is another. I am NOT "implying", nor conflating, one as the other. These are TWO different things/concepts.
Mark1955 wrote:How do you know this, how can you make statement about something you cannot perceive. Surely the assumption of an absolute 'reality' has to remain that, an assumption.
Not so. -- Can you 'perceive' something/anything? If so, then 'perceiving' absolutely exists (i.e. it is therefore something that is 'absolutely real'). Or do you deny that perceiving exists? -- And if so, then do you also deny your perceiving of denying?

It is not the 'perception' (i.e. the object of the perceiving) that exists with absolute certainty. It is the "perceiving" itself. It is the content of ones perceivings that are 'suspect', and again, not the perceivings themselves.

And from this absolutely real "perceiving", we can then logically derive a "perceiver" (an entity that perceives) with logical certainty.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by ThomasHobbes » July 2nd, 2018, 5:52 pm

RJG wrote:
July 2nd, 2018, 3:29 pm
RJG wrote:Our 'view'-of-reality (aka "perceptions") are one thing, and 'reality' itself, is another. I am NOT "implying", nor conflating, one as the other. These are TWO different things/concepts.
Mark1955 wrote:How do you know this, how can you make statement about something you cannot perceive. Surely the assumption of an absolute 'reality' has to remain that, an assumption.
Not so. -- Can you 'perceive' something/anything? If so, then 'perceiving' absolutely exists
No.
You are just confusing two completely separate things.
A camera is not a picture, and neither of them is the subject on the photo.
Try to show a bit of discrimination.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by RJG » July 2nd, 2018, 6:11 pm

Thomas, what do cameras and photos have to do with the reality and certainty of experiencing?

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Eduk » July 2nd, 2018, 6:20 pm

Thinking you are does make for a compelling argument in my opinion, but I'm not certain.
However I'm happy to play the what if game. If reality is as it appears then logically I should do the best I can. And if reality is some elaborate video game then again I should do the best I can.
For my money there is always some hidden agenda in such mussings being delivered as anything profound or meaningful. Usually used to justify an otherwise unjustifiable position.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by -1- » July 2nd, 2018, 7:01 pm

"To do the best I can" == if it's a short form, or a space holder, then fine.

If you mean seriously that one should do the best he or she can, then I contest your position. "Best" is relative to good and good is relative to the declarer of it. One person's good is another person's bad. One person's best is the other person's worst.
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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by mr533473 » July 2nd, 2018, 8:43 pm

Thanks for that, I'm new to the forum, that'll help.
RJG wrote: Our 'view'-of-reality (aka "perceptions") are one thing, and 'reality' itself, is another. I am NOT "implying", nor conflating, one as the other. These are TWO different things/concepts.
Maybe not, but what you are doing is worse. You are conflating consciousness and perception. Above, the porthole (aka "view of reality") you have called "perceptions" and in you prior post seen below it is "consciousness"
RJG wrote: This "porthole" is called "consciousness".
This is fatal. I can't follow your reasoning once you take these kinds of liberties. We have to end here because you, in attempt to defend you analogy's ability to make the point you want, are pretending it says or implies or represents something which it doesn't.

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by Felix » July 2nd, 2018, 9:25 pm

RJG, It seems to me that you have just regurgitated Descartes' cogito ergo sum argument, there is nothing new in your commentary. If you disagree, what is it you think you have added to it?
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by RJG » July 3rd, 2018, 1:03 am

mr533473 wrote:Maybe not, but what you are doing is worse. You are conflating consciousness and perception.
Not so. Consciousness and perceptions are NOT the same. (...though one does require the other).

mr533473 wrote:Above, the porthole (aka "view of reality") you have called "perceptions" and in you prior post seen below it is "consciousness".
Nonsense, you're being silly. Our view of reality is through this porthole (called consciousness in my analogy). Without consciousness (or this porthole) there could be no view of reality (i.e. no perceptions).

RJG wrote:This "porthole" is called "consciousness".
mr533473 wrote:This is fatal. I can't follow your reasoning once you take these kinds of liberties. We have to end here because you, in attempt to defend you analogy's ability to make the point you want, are pretending it says or implies or represents something which it doesn't.
You seem to be responding a bit extreme here. If you don't understand my analogy, then by all means, ask! But proclaiming your misunderstood view of my analogy as "fatal", and is reason enough "to end it here" seems a bit extreme and close minded.

I realize you are new here to this forum, but if you wish to end discussing this topic so soon, then so be it. If so, then take care and thanks for the little discussion that we did have. Hopefully we will meet up on another topic.

Felix wrote:RJG, It seems to me that you have just regurgitated Descartes' cogito ergo sum argument, there is nothing new in your commentary. If you disagree, what is it you think you have added to it?
Hi Felix. Yes, of course I disagree. What does Descartes "I think, therefore I am" have to do with this topic?

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Re: Can we trust our perceptions to tell us what's real?

Post by mr533473 » July 3rd, 2018, 1:40 am

RJG wrote:
July 3rd, 2018, 1:03 am
mr533473 wrote:Maybe not, but what you are doing is worse. You are conflating consciousness and perception.
RJG wrote:Not so. Consciousness and perceptions are NOT the same. (...though one does require the other).
Just because you understand the difference doesn't mean what you have written does not conflate the two. Look at the quotes, they're your words. If you meant to say something different, fine. You might have a better idea about these things in your head but I can only go off what your write here.. I only responded to what you wrote. Eventually the idea of what the porthole stands for was completely lost. I'd like to continue but how am I supposed to if in every post the analogy takes on a new meaning?

First
RJG wrote:imagine that this porthole is your own private, personal view of reality
Then
RJG wrote:Our 'view'-of-reality (aka "perceptions")
Then
RJG wrote:This "porthole" is called "consciousness".
I didn't mean for it to sound extreme, "fatal" might be a harsh word. I'm just saying there's no way of following your point. I don't see a "personal view of reality" as a sufficient definition of perception. Likewise, I don't see perception as equivalent to consciousness. You have referred to the porthole as all three of these things at different points so the analogy is lost.. not just on me but on anyone other than yourself (as you know what you really mean but have failed to express)

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