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A Three Page Essay On Perception

Mind

Description: Tables of contents for recent issues of Mind are available at http://www3.oup.co.uk/mind/contents . Authorized users may be able to access the full text articles at this site.

Mind has long been the leading journal in philosophy. For well over 100 years it has presented the best of cutting edge thought in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of logic, and philosophy of mind.

Coverage: 1876-2012 (Vol. 1, No. 1 - Vol. 121, No. 484)

Moving Wall: 5 years (What is the moving wall?)

The "moving wall" represents the time period between the last issue available in JSTOR and the most recently published issue of a journal. Moving walls are generally represented in years. In rare instances, a publisher has elected to have a "zero" moving wall, so their current issues are available in JSTOR shortly after publication.
Note: In calculating the moving wall, the current year is not counted.
For example, if the current year is 2008 and a journal has a 5 year moving wall, articles from the year 2002 are available.

Terms Related to the Moving Wall
Fixed walls: Journals with no new volumes being added to the archive.
Absorbed: Journals that are combined with another title.
Complete: Journals that are no longer published or that have been combined with another title.

ISSN: 00264423

EISSN: 14602113

Subjects: Philosophy, Humanities

Collections: Arts & Sciences I Collection, JSTOR Essential Collection

Sense Perception Notes - Theory of Knowledge

Sense Perception Quotes 

  • "The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend" (Henri Bergson).
  • "A fool sees not the same tree that the wise man sees. (William Blake).
  • "You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus" (Mark Twain).
  • "Two thirds of what we see is behind our eyes" (Chinese proverb).
  • Nothing revives the past so completely as a smell that was once associated with it" (Vladimir Nabokov).

Sense Perception Definitions

  • "Perception by the senses rather than by the intellect." (Dictionary.com)
  • "Perception by or based on stimulation of the senses." (Medical Dictionary)

We perceive the world through our five senses. (Hearing, Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste)  

Sense perception has three steps:

  1. Our sense receptors are stimulated by sensory information.
  2. The brain translates the sensory information into sensations such as sound, taste, temperature, etc.
  3. Higher centres in the brain either ignore or recognize the sensations and their meanings, based on neuronal networks of past association and expectation. (Some of this stage 3 work actually involves reasoning). 

Click the video on the right to see a coffee-taste expert discuss the intracacies of how different coffees taste.   

Sense perception is an important dimension of comprehending the world around us. It allows us to gather information from the outside world, so we can then go on to hopefully make sense of it.

The Range of All Animal Senses

All animal senses (including humans) can be categorized into four different senses:

 

 

The Range of Human Senses

Every living organism on earth has a unique range of senses. For example: snakes are able to sense infrared radiation, therefore allowing them to hunt at night. Bees and other insects are able to sense ultraviolet radiation, which attracts them to flowers. Bats and dolphins use sonar for navigation.
Sockeye salmon have deposits of magnetite in their bodies that enable them to detect Earth’s magnetic field.

Every organism has a different range of senses. Humans are limited to five senses. The fact that different organisms sense the world  around them in a different ways than we do is evidence that we perceive the world not as it is, but only by the ways that humans can. So when we sense the world around us, we can never fully understand our surroundings, we can only comprehend our environment through the limited range of human senses.

Advances in modern science we know that stimuli such as infared radiation, radio waves, sounds at low and high frequency, and many more are constantly in our environment. We cannot detect any of these, and therefore perceive 100% our surroundings. It is in this way that we are limited by our range of human senses.

Sensory information and interpretation

According to the Gestalt theory of psychology, we tend to perceive objects visually as meaningful patterns or groups, rather than collections of separate parts.  

Stimuli are involuntarily being compared and contrasted with previous experiences. For example, when you see when you see stop light change from red to green, your mind perceives this change in color, not so much as a change in color, but more as a signal to move forward.

Things that affect sense perception

What we perceive depends on what is important and interest in at the time for each person (Cultural Influences on Perception). Our perceptions and conceptions are affected by things such as

  • biases,
  • motivations
  • emotions
  • cultural perspectives
  • interests,
  • expectations and
  • background experiences (existing knowledge)

Optical Illusions

Optical illusions are very popular with students just starting out in ToK. They are clear evidence that we have weaknesses in terms of how our mind interprets stimuli. Often things are not as they appear. Our previous experiences with similar stimulai impairs our perception.


In the two images to the right and left, you see a triangle and a square. But after looking at the images closely, it can be clearly seen that there are no squares or triangles. Our mind is simplifying visual images, grouping it into patterns that are easier to process.

This involves, what we call heuristics --basically mental short-cuts we use to process data quickly. 

  

- - There's more! - -

A premium version of the ToK notes is also available, with helpful insights for all of the WoKs and AoK's (including the complete versions of these of this notes), It also had tons of helpful videos and helpful guidance for your essays and presentations. You can join by clicking the link below. 

 

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