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Sense Perception: Appearance and Reality

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1 Sense Perception: Appearance and Reality

2 Agenda Look at three factors for distinguishing appearance from reality. Confirmation, Coherence, Independent Testimony Reflect on your own senses – shortcomings and strengths. End Goal: Personal connection to the material – Do you trust knowledge gained from your senses?

3 Quote 1 “Your appearance, attitude, and confidence define you as a person.” –Lorii Myers Agree? Disagree? What should define you as a person? Can you fake/misinterpret appearance? Attitude? Confidence? How do your senses show you appearance, attitude, and confidence?

4 Appearance v. Reality Eye-witness testimony
Trust Senses to some extent? How do we distinguish appearance from reality? Confirmation Coherence Independent Testimony

5 Confirmation by Another Sense
Another sense can confirm what you are thinking. If it looks like an apple, and tastes like an apple…then it is reasonable to assume it is an apple SCIENCE: Pencil half immersed in beaker of water, appears bent to the eye Touch: Proves it is not bent

6 Question 1 Do human beings have a dominant sense? Is the confirmation from a certain sense more valuable than another one?

7 Coherence Does what you see/hear/taste/smell/touch fit in with your experiences of/in the world? The idea of coherence is that what you are experiencing makes sense and it believable. Drunk man sees a pig flying…the next morning he probably wont believe it.

8 Independent Testimony
Did several other people witness it to? Eye-Witness Testimony – can more than one person back up your claim? If many other people confirm what you experienced, then chances are you are correct UNLESS you are involved in some crazy conspiracy theory!

9 Summarize Senses are liable to error We can correct our mistakes/confirm our observations using confirmation, coherence, and independent testimony. Knowledge can be risky – less than certain.

10 Question 2 Look back to your answer yesterday… How do you know if you can trust what a witness is saying? Now, if you were a juror, what specific things would you need in order to believe eye-witness testimony? What would you change in your answer? What would you add to your answer?

11 Ultimate Reality 10/8

12 Agenda Discuss quotes pertaining to appearance and reality
Look at different theories of reality Common Sense Realism Scientific Realism Phenomenalism END GOAL: Gain enough information to start evaluating your senses. Which of your senses is most reliable? Which theory do you believe in?

13 Quote 1 “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Buddha Is this quote always true? When is it? When is it not? Whose word do you always trust? Anyone?

14 Perception vs. Reality Pain, taste, color? Tree falls in the forest?
Is it all subjective? Tree falls in the forest? Does it really make a sound? Tables in this classroom? Are they still there at night?

15 Theories 2- Scientific Realism 3 - Phenomenalism
Different theories between the relationship between perception and reality: 1- Common-Sense Realism 2- Scientific Realism 3 - Phenomenalism

16 Common-Sense Realism The way we perceive the world mirrors the way the world is.

17 Question 1 Based on your notes, what are some arguments for and against common-sense realism? Use your own words and examples.

18 Scientific Realism The world exists as an independent reality, but it is very different from the way we perceive it.

19 Scientific Realism Sir Arthur Eddington and the table.
Common Sense: A table is a certain color, is permanent, substantial, and useful Scientific: “My scientific table is mostly emptiness. Sparsely scattered in that emptiness are numerous electric charges rushing about with great speed.” Sir Arthur Eddington and the table.

20 Scientific Realism Scientific Picture of Reality: comfortable and sensuous picture of our world is replaced with this colorless, soundless, odorless realm of atoms

21 Phenomenalism Explands on empiricism (all knowledge must be based on experience) Matter is the permanent possibility of sensation “To be is to be perceived.” –George Berkeley

22 Phenomenalism We cannot know what the world is like independent of what we experience But it DOES exist Beyond our experience of reality, nothing can be said. We can only know the world from our perspective and we have no right to make assumptions and claims about what we haven’t experienced- humility

23 Summary Common-sense Realism Scientific Realism Phenomenalism
What you see is what is there Scientific Realism Atoms in the void Phenomenalism To be is to be perceived

24 Question 2 IF you believed in phenomenalism, what difference, if any, would it make to your practical life?

25 Question 3 How does the idea that we cannot know anything about what is the universe is like independent of our experience make you feel?

26 Quote 2 “If you can find something everyone agrees on, it’s wrong.” – Morris K. Udall How can you apply this quote to society? What are the implications of this quote? Think about the material from yesterday and today…

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