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Senseless: A False Sense of Perception

I feel as though I have no choice but to be a skeptic about our ability
to know the world on the sense experience given the information that is being

Our senses are touching, hearing, smelling and tasting, I believe it is
quite possible that a person could think they see, touch, and smell something
such as a glass of bear but there be no glass of beer present, therefore their
perception of this glass of beer is false. There is a good possibility that
this person is suffering from any of the numerous possible sensations, auditory,
visual or tactile, experienced without external stimulus and caused by mental
derangement, intoxication or fever, in other words this person could be

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There are many ways that the senses can be tricked into believing things
that are not true, an example is when a person takes the drug LSD, this drug is
one which alters the state of the mind and tricks it into visually perceiving
things which are not real such as pink elephants, green rats, gold skin and so
on. Hallucinations may occur when pressure is applied to different sections,
drawing different reactions from the person being affected, these reactions are
caused by the affected person seeing things which they perceive to be real .

Hallucinations are only one way by which the visual perception of an object can
be altered there are many more ways by which the visual perception of an object
can be altered; for example consider a square envelope, pay very close attention
to what you see when you look at this object. If the envelope does not move but
you do then your perception of this object will continually change as you move
about and the “square envelope” no longer looks square. Because a square object
such as an envelope can’t be square and not square at the same time then the
visual perception of the object must be false.

Another false visual perception would be a mirage, for example when you
drive down a flat stretch of highway on a hot summer day it appears as though
there are patches of water on the road up ahead, as you get closer and closer
to where the water appears to be it disappears. Another example would be
illusions with mirrors such as the ones that David Copperfield performs, in his
performances he astounds audiences by making it appear as if people are
floating on air.

In regard to the debate in section 11 of Philosophical Problems and
Arguments I tend to agree with premise one which states that we can sometimes
be mistaken in our perceptual beliefs, for example when we hallucinate we are
mistaken in our perceptual although we may not realize it at that particular
point in time. As for premise two I tend not to agree with this one, I don’t
believe that it is always logically possible that our perceptual beliefs are
false other wise we would all be hallucinating and I find it hard to grasp that
billions and billions of people are hallucinating. As for the final premise and
the conclusion I tend to believe that they are both false because they both
relay on the second premise being true.

It is said that “seeing is believing” but with hallucinations, optical
illusions and other false visual perceptions occurring without people even
realizing it, you have got to wonder who came up with the term “seeing is
believing” and how it could ever be possible that somebody would believe such a
ludicrous statement.
Category: Philosophy


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