Perception and reality

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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Prof Bulani
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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Prof Bulani » February 15th, 2020, 11:36 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:45 am
Prof Bulani wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:18 am
And while you're at it, break down what "representationalism" means to you, and show how it is incompatible with realism.
Representationalism is illustration #2 re my illustrations earlier.

The gist of representationalism is that you do not directly perceive the external world. Under representationalism, we make an assumption that there's an external world, which we assume we receive data from. That data is then processed by our brains into a representation of some sort, correlated in ultimately indeterminate ways to the external world (because of implications of this view), and we are only aware of our brain's representation (which we could call a model that out brains created). We're not aware of the data from the external world itself.
In this model, we are very much aware of the external world, and can recognize that new data involuntary and continuously comes from the external world. There is no reason to think that in a representational model, we are only aware of our brain's model. We are also aware of the source of sensory information that the vast majority of the model is comprised of. The correlation between the model in our mind (our perception) and the external world (objective reality) is by no means indeterminate. As I repeatedly stated, we have tons of evidence and inference that supports the conclusion that the perception is highly and strongly correlated to objective reality. It does leave room for errors, and errors are also abundant. But to say that the correlation is indeterminate is simply outlandish.
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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Terrapin Station » February 15th, 2020, 11:39 am

Prof Bulani wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 11:27 am
Let's use your term: "sensory reception of external data". I trust that you aren't going to ask me what that term means.

So, to rephrase: is it possible to perceive something that did not come either completely or in part from direct sensory perception of external data?
The question makes no sense. It suggests that you didn't understand a simple sentence I typed.

You're not "perceiving something that came from sensory reception" lol

Perception IS IDENTICAL TO sensory reception of external data.

Is it possible for perception to be something other than that? Not given how the world contingently works + conventional usage of the term "perception." Outside of that, sure, given an alternate universe where human bodies work very differently, where we use words very differently than we do, etc.
If you are facing a table, you are receiving sensory information about the table. At that point in time, you know that a table is in front of you. If you turn away from the table, you are no longer receiving sensory information from the table. At that point, do you no longer know that a table is behind you? In other words, does the information about the table no longer persist once the sensory input ceases?
No. You no longer perceive the table if you're not looking at it (or touching it, tasting it, smelling it or hearing it)

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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Prof Bulani » February 15th, 2020, 12:35 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 11:39 am
Prof Bulani wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 11:27 am
Let's use your term: "sensory reception of external data". I trust that you aren't going to ask me what that term means.

So, to rephrase: is it possible to perceive something that did not come either completely or in part from direct sensory perception of external data?
The question makes no sense. It suggests that you didn't understand a simple sentence I typed.

You're not "perceiving something that came from sensory reception" lol

Perception IS IDENTICAL TO sensory reception of external data.

Is it possible for perception to be something other than that? Not given how the world contingently works + conventional usage of the term "perception." Outside of that, sure, given an alternate universe where human bodies work very differently, where we use words very differently than we do, etc.
If you are facing a table, you are receiving sensory information about the table. At that point in time, you know that a table is in front of you. If you turn away from the table, you are no longer receiving sensory information from the table. At that point, do you no longer know that a table is behind you? In other words, does the information about the table no longer persist once the sensory input ceases?
No. You no longer perceive the table if you're not looking at it (or touching it, tasting it, smelling it or hearing it)
Is there anything called knowledge of the external world in this view? Can one know that something is in the external world while simultaneously not perceiving it?
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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Terrapin Station » February 15th, 2020, 12:53 pm

Prof Bulani wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 12:35 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 11:39 am


The question makes no sense. It suggests that you didn't understand a simple sentence I typed.

You're not "perceiving something that came from sensory reception" lol

Perception IS IDENTICAL TO sensory reception of external data.

Is it possible for perception to be something other than that? Not given how the world contingently works + conventional usage of the term "perception." Outside of that, sure, given an alternate universe where human bodies work very differently, where we use words very differently than we do, etc.



No. You no longer perceive the table if you're not looking at it (or touching it, tasting it, smelling it or hearing it)
Is there anything called knowledge of the external world in this view? Can one know that something is in the external world while simultaneously not perceiving it?
Yes, of course there's knowledge of the external world. And yes, you can know that something is in the external world while not perceiving it. Again, this is because how you know is different than what you know.

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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Prof Bulani » February 15th, 2020, 1:07 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 12:53 pm
Yes, of course there's knowledge of the external world. And yes, you can know that something is in the external world while not perceiving it. Again, this is because how you know is different than what you know.
When you turn away from the table, in your view you are no longer perceiving the table. However, you still know that the table is behind you. Describe how the brain continues to keep track of objects in the external while not perceiving them, if you may.
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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Terrapin Station » February 15th, 2020, 4:36 pm

Prof Bulani wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 1:07 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 12:53 pm
Yes, of course there's knowledge of the external world. And yes, you can know that something is in the external world while not perceiving it. Again, this is because how you know is different than what you know.
When you turn away from the table, in your view you are no longer perceiving the table. However, you still know that the table is behind you. Describe how the brain continues to keep track of objects in the external while not perceiving them, if you may.
In that case you simply fill out the information, via memory, concepts you've formed, and induction, where it's based on experience of your bodily situatedness in relation to objects in the world.

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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Prof Bulani » February 15th, 2020, 7:41 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 4:36 pm
Prof Bulani wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 1:07 pm

When you turn away from the table, in your view you are no longer perceiving the table. However, you still know that the table is behind you. Describe how the brain continues to keep track of objects in the external while not perceiving them, if you may.
In that case you simply fill out the information, via memory, concepts you've formed, and induction, where it's based on experience of your bodily situatedness in relation to objects in the world.
So the location and image of the table is stored in memory when you turn away from the table? And I would imagine that's the case for every other object you've perceived in the room, correct?
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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Terrapin Station » February 15th, 2020, 8:08 pm

Prof Bulani wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 7:41 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 4:36 pm


In that case you simply fill out the information, via memory, concepts you've formed, and induction, where it's based on experience of your bodily situatedness in relation to objects in the world.
So the location and image of the table is stored in memory when you turn away from the table? And I would imagine that's the case for every other object you've perceived in the room, correct?
Insofar as you remember it and you're not actually perceiving it, sure. (Technically I wouldn't say that we're talking about "stored" memory, but active memory, which also frequently utilizes concepts, etc.)

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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Prof Bulani » February 15th, 2020, 8:27 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:08 pm
Prof Bulani wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 7:41 pm

So the location and image of the table is stored in memory when you turn away from the table? And I would imagine that's the case for every other object you've perceived in the room, correct?
Insofar as you remember it and you're not actually perceiving it, sure. (Technically I wouldn't say that we're talking about "stored" memory, but active memory, which also frequently utilizes concepts, etc.)
Just to be sure I'm understanding this concept, we perceive objects in our environment by getting information about them via our sensory organs. Once we've perceived an object, our brain stores the information about the object in, as you call it, active memory. I would imagine information stored includes size, shape, position, orientation, color, texture, and so on. I would also imagine that memory would try to store information around us as accurately as possible. In other words, we can, say, take a few minutes to look around a room and perceive where everything in the room is, then close our and navigate the room fairly successfully by simply referencing the layout of the room from memory.

Is this an accurate description of the relationship between perception and memory in your view?
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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Terrapin Station » February 15th, 2020, 8:42 pm

Prof Bulani wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:27 pm
Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:08 pm


Insofar as you remember it and you're not actually perceiving it, sure. (Technically I wouldn't say that we're talking about "stored" memory, but active memory, which also frequently utilizes concepts, etc.)
Just to be sure I'm understanding this concept, we perceive objects in our environment by getting information about them via our sensory organs. Once we've perceived an object, our brain stores the information about the object in, as you call it, active memory. I would imagine information stored includes size, shape, position, orientation, color, texture, and so on. I would also imagine that memory would try to store information around us as accurately as possible. In other words, we can, say, take a few minutes to look around a room and perceive where everything in the room is, then close our and navigate the room fairly successfully by simply referencing the layout of the room from memory.

Is this an accurate description of the relationship between perception and memory in your view?
That's close enough for rock 'n' roll, sure.

Re the difference between "active" and "stored," I was referring to if it's conscious--having the table in mind when you turn away from it, for example, since that's what we'd been talking about.

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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Prof Bulani » February 16th, 2020, 4:30 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:42 pm
Prof Bulani wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:27 pm

Just to be sure I'm understanding this concept, we perceive objects in our environment by getting information about them via our sensory organs. Once we've perceived an object, our brain stores the information about the object in, as you call it, active memory. I would imagine information stored includes size, shape, position, orientation, color, texture, and so on. I would also imagine that memory would try to store information around us as accurately as possible. In other words, we can, say, take a few minutes to look around a room and perceive where everything in the room is, then close our and navigate the room fairly successfully by simply referencing the layout of the room from memory.

Is this an accurate description of the relationship between perception and memory in your view?
That's close enough for rock 'n' roll, sure.

Re the difference between "active" and "stored," I was referring to if it's conscious--having the table in mind when you turn away from it, for example, since that's what we'd been talking about.
Now if we say that all the information about the layout of an individual's environment, gathered from their perception, is stored in the mind as accessible memory, would that be different from saying that as the individual perceives their environment, they create a copy of the layout of their environment in their mind?
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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Terrapin Station » February 16th, 2020, 6:24 am

Prof Bulani wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 4:30 am
Terrapin Station wrote:
February 15th, 2020, 8:42 pm


That's close enough for rock 'n' roll, sure.

Re the difference between "active" and "stored," I was referring to if it's conscious--having the table in mind when you turn away from it, for example, since that's what we'd been talking about.
Now if we say that all the information about the layout of an individual's environment, gathered from their perception, is stored in the mind as accessible memory, would that be different from saying that as the individual perceives their environment, they create a copy of the layout of their environment in their mind?
Ignoring that none of this happens "ideally" etc. sure.

It seems like you're thinking that I'm denying mental models wholesale. I'm not. I'm denying the claim that we're ONLY aware of mental models, particularly re perception. Direct realism versus representationalism, etc. are stances in philosophy of perception, by the way, not philosophy of memory or induction or anything like that.

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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Pattern-chaser » February 16th, 2020, 7:08 am

RJG wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 10:31 pm
"We can only perceive 'perceptions', not 'reality' itself."

BUT, this does not prevent us from knowing objective 'reality'!
Unless you're usign "objective" in an especially diluted sense, I rather think it does. The only way we can learn of reality is via our senses and perception, yes?
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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Terrapin Station » February 16th, 2020, 8:07 am

Pattern-chaser wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 7:08 am
RJG wrote:
February 14th, 2020, 10:31 pm
"We can only perceive 'perceptions', not 'reality' itself."

BUT, this does not prevent us from knowing objective 'reality'!
Unless you're usign "objective" in an especially diluted sense, I rather think it does. The only way we can learn of reality is via our senses and perception, yes?
There's a difference between objectively knowing reality and knowing objective reality.

In the latter, our knowing doesn't have to be objective. It's rather saying that we know about or of objective reality.

It's similar to when we only know English, say. We can't "Non-Englishly" write about Mars, but we can write about Mars, using English. This doesn't imply that Mars is identical to English, just because we have to use English to write about it.

Or, this is another example of what amounts to use/mention confusion, or subject matter/methdology confusion.

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Re: Perception and reality

Post by Pattern-chaser » February 16th, 2020, 8:38 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 8:07 am
Pattern-chaser wrote:
February 16th, 2020, 7:08 am
Unless you're usign "objective" in an especially diluted sense, I rather think it does. The only way we can learn of reality is via our senses and perception, yes?
There's a difference between objectively knowing reality and knowing objective reality.

In the latter, our knowing doesn't have to be objective. It's rather saying that we know about or of objective reality.

It's similar to when we only know English, say. We can't "Non-Englishly" write about Mars, but we can write about Mars, using English. This doesn't imply that Mars is identical to English, just because we have to use English to write about it.

Or, this is another example of what amounts to use/mention confusion, or subject matter/methdology confusion.
As to the latter, I don't think so. 🤔 I merely observe that we can know - "know" to Objective standards - nothing at all about Objective Reality apart from the fact that it exists. Yes, we can mention OR, and even specualte about it, but what's the point? Our speculations cannot be falsified or verified, now or ever, so why bother? There is only one answer: Like the many other things we do not understand, we choose anyway to have (unjustified) beliefs about them. Why else would we pronounce upon something when our prononcements cannot ever be tested in any way?
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