When Should We Trust Our Senses to Give Us Truth?

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Stephen HenriquezMr. Nelson
IB TOK01/24/10
When should we trust our senses to give us truth?
Our senses should be trusted in certain circumstances. Our senses can only provide us with raw information, but in order to gain knowledge and understanding of the information we need to implicate other ways of knowing. There is a limitation to trusting your senses because our perception will only go as far as our sense organs will allow us, but other ways of knowing such as but not limited to, reason will allow us to progress even further. Senses are the “physiological methods of perception” according to Wikipedia. The definition given by merriam-webster is that senses are “the faculty of perceiving means by sense organs and that it is a conscious awareness or rationality. Many philosophers and great thinkers have conferred over the issue of whether sense perception comes from our bodies or from the soul. Aristotle believed that perception came from our soul and not our bodies (Thomas J. Slakey). Our senses occur by our sense organs but do they truly reveal the truth, are perceptions just activities that occur in our sense organs, and are far away from revealing the “truth” to us? Our senses are used to filter data through our brains; it is this that allows us to function throughout our everyday life. The limitations that sense perception brings is that it can only filter what it sees, hears, smells, touches, and tastes. When we use our sense perceptions we tend to have a bias on everything as humans. Experience ties into the use of sense perception that is how we use our own biases by judging the situation by using our knowledge of the past. This is why the use of sense perception isn’t completely reliable. The idea of sense perception comes from the idea of empiricism and how experience is “of primary importance in giving us knowledge of the world”. (Holt) Sense perceptions provide us only with the information it gives us, it...