Perception Essay

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Essay Question: To what extent do our senses give us knowledge of the world as it really is?

Human senses do not give much knowledge to the world as it really is; they primarily function to create a physical representation of the world that the brain can understand. Human senses can detect and receive true information, but the brain processes this information to attempt to form an image of the world that is coherent, not as it truly is. On the other hand, some people might say that human senses can give us absolute knowledge as the world is; it is just the way that humans organize information that leads to the common thought that what we perceive is not truly what is.

Human senses are, in the most basic of definitions, ways that the mind receives information from the outside world. Whether this is through touch, smell, taste, sight, or hearing, does not matter; it is still information from the outside world, in this case, categorized into groups. This means that what information that is going into, for instance, the eye, is true raw information of the world; it is the world as it really is. The brain does not know this information even exists in its raw form, as processing takes over subconsciously.

Out of processing, comes the physical representation of our world. The operative word in that sentence is representation. Human senses can only give one a representation of the world according to one’s own subject organizational skills and the information gathered by one’s senses. This limitation on knowledge of the true world occurs because the raw information, the world as it truly is, is processed and warped until the human brain can comprehend the information and produce a coherent idea of what is outside of the mind. This processing of information in order to create a coherent world can be seen in many illusions. In the “grid illusion”, the white spots on a black planar grid appear to spontaneously change from white to black. This spontaneous and...
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