‘We see and understand things not as they are but as we are’ Discuss this claim in relation to at least two ways of knowing
The typical description of a nice day outside includes lush green grass and clear blue sky. Everyone can relate to it, we see the colour, we can smell the scents and we can feel the texture. Yet do we see colour and smell the scents? Or does colour and scent exist in the world and all we as humans do is simply comprehend them? Is the day really a nice day? Or are we just in a good mood resulting in the day being nice? Seeing and understanding things as they are, can be completely different according to the way we are. A chair for example when we look at it is brown, wooden and shiny. When we feel it, it is hard, smooth and comfortable to sit on. We see it as a chair, yet a chair is actually particles upon which light reflects that we through our senses, interpret the way we do. Two ways of knowing that can be associated with the way we see and understand things are perception, in particular sensory perception, and emotion. But what factors affect how we see things? Paradigms consist of all ways of knowing. We each hold our own paradigms due to our emotions, experience, background that affect the way that we are as an individual. Therefore doesn’t that mean everyone sees and understands things differently?
Sense perception affects the way we literally see things and understand them. Through sight, smell, sound, taste and touch the way we perceive the world and gain knowledge is dependant. The way we perceive the world is also dependant on our genetic make up for example different animals use different senses to perceive the world such as bats using sonar or dogs using their sense of smell. Humans are visually orientated creatures who use sight as their main sense for perception. In fact Empiricism is the suggestion that all knowledge is ultimately based on perceptual experience. But does sense perception allow us to see and understand...
Alchin, N, 2003, theory of knowledge, London: John Murray Ltd.
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