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The axiom of consciousness implies perception, since you can't be conscious of anything outward or inward without it. All three axioms - existence, identity and consciousness - are derived from perception.

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Perception is not axiomatic, nor infallible, but it is very, very reliable.

We've acquired a great deal of knowledge regarding the understanding of how the sense organs operate since Rand.  Radial keratotomy for the eyes, cochlear implants for the ears, for example.  These organs act as transducers, converting electromagnetic energy (eyes) and mechanical energy/sound wave (ears) into bio-electric energy.  The ear operates on the very same principles as a microphone in a recording studio -- which is basically why we can create microphone implants for the ears. 

Perception is complicated because it does involve a constant, temporal balancing act.  There are second-by-second changes being made to feed forward information (musical sound waves) and feed back information (constant updates to both long and short term memory of music).  This explains why a particular symphony that you have listened to so many times over the years can sound so "off" and "strange" and "frustrating" when you hear a new recording by a different conductor/symphony for the first, second and third time.

 What your mind "expects" to hear and what you "actually" hear just don't mesh.  It's disconcerting.

But this constant balancing act between what you see and what you expect to see is vitally important to survival.  Anything out of sequence or order makes it's way to your attentive mind, where you decide how to deal with it. 

If you only perceive what you expect to perceive it would lead to disaster.  And if what you are currently perceiving were not automatically compared to what you've perceived before,  allowing for a moment of reflection, it would also be a disaster.  All higher animals (mammals & birds and a few others) possess some degree of volition in how they choose to act relative to what they perceive. 

Edited by New Buddha

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16 hours ago, New Buddha said:

Perception is not axiomatic, nor infallible, but it is very, very reliable.

 

16 hours ago, New Buddha said:

What your mind "expects" to hear and what you "actually" hear just don't mesh.  It's disconcerting.

Perception does need to be kept separate from the epistemic form of either a perceptual judgment or expectation. Perception, itself, is automatic and infallible.

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4 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

Perception does need to be kept separate from the epistemic form of either a perceptual judgment or expectation. Perception, itself, is automatic and infallible.

I don't think you are grasping the feed forward feed back dynamic.  When you listen to a symphony as I described, what is glaringly brought to your attention is where the two different versions do not mesh. 

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Just now, dream_weaver said:

 

Perception does need to be kept separate from the epistemic form of either a perceptual judgment or expectation. Perception, itself, is automatic and infallible.

 

I perceive that the Earth is flat.

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52 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

So, I am epistemically comparing the recollection of version 1 with listening to version 2, and drawing the further conclusion that they are not the same?

This is wrong on two accounts.  One, it's the homunculus fallacy.  And two, the actual in's and out's of how people learn is properly the domain of psychology and neurology, etc.  Psychologists and Neurologists need metaphysics, epistemology and ontology to understand what they are observing - but in the same way, philosophers need the sciences to ground their own discipline.  Philosophy is not a hermetically sealed endeavor cut off from observations of the real world.  If I have an aging parent experiencing memory loss, I don't take him to an epistemologist.  Also, psychology with out a proper grounding in philosophy can lead to such nonsense as Freudian psychology and Behaviorism.  Your term "epistemically comparing" is blurring the lines between disciplines.

If you had to consciously attend to every single thing as you move about in your environment you would be stuck in place. Once learned, behaviors such as climbing stairs and riding bikes are automated so that we don't have to consciously attend to such activities.  People with very specific neurological diseases have trouble learning new behaviors and accessing previously stored ones.

Think of it this way.  We design stairs so that the risers and treads are of uniform dimensions.  Why?  Because people don't pay attention when going up a flight of stairs.  They do learn to do it as infants (and so do other animals) but people can balance a hot cup of tea and carry on a conversation all while climbing the stairs.

But suppose that in the middle of the flight of stairs one tread were 2" higher than the others.  What most likely would happen is that the person would trip.  And if one tread were 2" lower, the person would experience that sinking feeling that we've all felt when we think there is one more step to go at the top.  The organism is engaged in a feed forward feed back exchange with it's environment, and we only really pay attention to things when they are either of interest to us and/or out of place or unusual.

I was, in my original post, going to refer to Binswanger's How We Know, but the fact is, while I'm very happy to see him discussing Gibson, I don't buy into Gibson's Affordances.  No one has every really given them a satisfactory definition and they are an ongoing issue in psychology.  Binswanger is absolutely right in describing perception as not a series of snapshots but rather a continuous on-going, moment-by-moment process, constantly being updated by comparing the present with the short term and long term past.

If you want to read about the role of feed forward/feed back here are two links.  Link 1 Link 2

Edited by New Buddha

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1 hour ago, SpookyKitty said:

I perceive that the Earth is flat.

More like you perceive the world as what you call flat. But that's just the -way- it looks in the conditions given. It's "supposed" to look that way, so it isn't "wrong". To then claim Earth is geometrically flat is a judgment. Perception does not produce judgments or claims like that.

Edited by Eiuol

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Here is a very stripped down example of a feed forward feed back mechanism at work.  This is not an optical illusion, such as a bent stick in water.  This is where your memory of triangles is "filling in" the "missing" information.  It's an unusual enough signal that the thalamus kicks the signal to the cortex, where consciousness resides, and you decide what to do with it. 

Kanizsa.png

Edited by New Buddha

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Another example that I was going to post in the Visual Arts post is shown below.  The glasses are not fully shown, but your attention is drawn to it, and the glasses are "completed" via feed back.

Good artists exploit this automated perceptual mechanism in the viewer to create engagement with the work of art.  The viewer "completes" the painting.

 

sargent-vernon-lee-1881.jpg

Edited by New Buddha

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Another example of feed forward, feed back at work in music.  In the first minute, Thelonious Monk states the main melody.  For the next two minutes, Charlie Rouse on the sax restates is once or twice in full and then begins to improvise on the melody.  At the three minute mark, Monk, at the piano, takes the melody completely apart.  He is constantly teasing the listener - denying him satisfaction, not allowing him to hear what he so badly wants to hear - the completed melody stated at the beginning.

 

Edited by New Buddha

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Just now, Nicky said:

We have pictures of the Earth, so you're either blind or lying.

 

No really. When I go outside, I perceive that the Earth is flat. Of course, I know that it is round, and I wouldn't need to see pictures of it from space to know that. But perceiving and knowing are two different things.

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3 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

 

No really. When I go outside, I perceive that the Earth is flat.

No, you don't. When you go outside, you don't perceive the shape of the Earth.

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Just now, Nicky said:

No, you don't. When you go outside, you don't perceive the shape of the Earth.

 

But I do. What is it that I'm standing on, if not the Earth? And when I look at it, it seems flat.

Why do you think that people believed that the Earth was flat? Because they perceived it to be flat, and had no reason to believe otherwise (until they did).

Edited by SpookyKitty

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1 minute ago, SpookyKitty said:

But I do. What is it that I'm standing on, if not the Earth? And when I look at it, it seems flat.

Introducing "seems" is an attempt at obfuscation. You're trying to make things unintelligible, as usual.

We're not discussing what things seem like, we're discussing perception. Perception is what you see, hear, smell, taste, or sense through other nerve endings in your body.

In this case, what you see with your eyes. The notion that standing on the surface of the Earth you can SEE its shape is absurd.

Quote

Why do you think that people believed that the Earth was flat?

Same reason why people believe in religion: the absence of systematic thought, that is able to differentiate between valid and invalid arguments, causes people to embrace arbitrary propositions. When classical Greeks started thinking systematically, they dismissed that proposition right away.

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Just now, Nicky said:

Introducing "seems" is an attempt at obfuscation. You're trying to make things unintelligible, as usual.

We're not discussing what things seem like, we're discussing perception. Perception is what you see, hear, smell, taste, or sense through other nerve endings in your body.

In this case, what you see with your eyes. The notion that standing on the surface of the Earth you can SEE its shape is absurd.

 

"Seems" is synonymous with "is pereceived as".

The notion that standing on the surface of the Earth you can see its shape is absurd? Why in the hell is that?

Quote

Same reason why people believe in religion: the absence of systematic thought, that is able to differentiate between valid and invalid arguments, causes people to embrace arbitrary propositions. When classical Greeks started thinking systematically, they dismissed that proposition right away.

 

O rly? You seriously believe that the reason many primitive cultures believed that the Earth was flat was just because they felt like it? The very fact that it appears to be flat (i.e., that they perceive it to be flat) is completely out of the question? I think you are being disingenuous.

That the Greeks rejected the notion that the Earth was flat is my whole point. The only reason they even entertained the notion of a flat Earth in the first place and felt the need to refute that notion was because they perceived that it was flat.

But I could give countless examples where perception contradicts fact. For example, one perceives that the Sun goes around the Earth. This is obviously false. One perceives that time moves slower when he is bored. This is also false. One perceives that the stars are points of light on a celestial sphere not too far from Earth. This is also false. One perceives that solid objects are solid all the way through. This is again false, as the vast majority of the volume occupied by a solid object is empty space. The list goes on and on...

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4 hours ago, Eiuol said:

More like you perceive the world as what you call flat. But that's just the -way- it looks in the conditions given. It's "supposed" to look that way, so it isn't "wrong". To then claim Earth is geometrically flat is a judgment. Perception does not produce judgments or claims like that.

 

Is there some difference between what is flat and what I call "flat"?

But the judgment is based on perception alone. That I can explain why it only appears to be flat when in fact it is round is beside the point. Perception is often wrong, and one needs reason to tell when,

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SK:

Your perception is not wrong.  What you see is a very slightly curved surface from a relatively small height on an enormous sphere which is reality.  You see exactly what it is.  Your judgement is wrong and whether or not your claim that judgement is based on perception alone is true, judgement is not perception and the fact that your judgement is wrong does not make your perception wrong.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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2 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

The notion that standing on the surface of the Earth you can see its shape is absurd?

Yes, because if you can only see 0.0001% of an object, you can't see its shape. Obviously.

Edited by Nicky

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4 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

But the judgment is based on perception alone. That I can explain why it only appears to be flat when in fact it is round is beside the point. Perception is often wrong

Judgment of perception you mean. "Based on perception" isn't itself perception. When we say perception is infallible, we don't mean "how the world seems to be". We just mean "how the world looks". Some people do use the word perception to mean "how the world seems to be", but I'm trying to be precise here.

I said what you call flat because it's just the word you use to best describe something that is wordless and non-conceptual. I mean, it's one thing to say the horizon looks flat, another to say it is flat. What would a round horizon look like anyway?

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On 1/8/2017 at 1:02 AM, New Buddha said:

Perception is not axiomatic, nor infallible, but it is very, very reliable.

NB, you mentioned reliability, basically the same as the theory reliabilism. This is the closest to a good argument against perception-as-infallible. It's something like perception is reliably accurate, to the degree that perception aids with an organism's life. As far as I know, the idea is that perception provides reliably accurate evidence such that the organism will operate on the truth even without knowing it.

Two problems for me:

1) It assumes that true/false can be an aspect of perception, or assumes that there is no unique thing besides concepts and percepts.

2) Evidence is placed outside the realm of first-person experience or internal phenomena. Instead, it is based on a totally external knower - perception that leads to a true judgment is called accurate.

About 1, imagine something like late-stage vision producing something besides a percept.

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Eiuol,

Perception is a second-by-second, continuous activity requiring constant feed back and feed forward information.  It also requires movement - whether eye saccades, music over time, drifting scent molecules, rubbing hands over a surface, walking around looking at things, etc.  Our Perception of an entity undergoes continuous change as we move thru our environment.  Perception is not a snapshot of an object stored in your mind.    This is anti-Representationalism of the type Binswanger discusses in his book.

Think of dribbling a basket ball.  Each bounce is different and requires constant anatomical adjustments to maintain the dribbling.  It engages many different muscle groups (the torso, legs, feet, arms, hands) along with the eyes, the inner ear (for balance) -- and varying degrees of conscious volitional attention.  Such activities once  learned are automated, and some persons such as professional basketball players can be great at it.

When I say that perception is not infallible, all I mean is that even Steph Curry occasionally dribbles the ball off of his own foot.  That's it.  Don't read into it that I'm some how interjecting "subjectivity" such as Kantian a priori Catagories or a Chomskian Universal Grammar.

Edited by New Buddha

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I think all of you are failing to distinguish the cause of perception from the perception itself, which necessarily involves judgments (otherwise there is no way for perception to be wrong or even right much less infallible).

It is true that, in fact, what causes my perceptions is a round Earth. But a round Earth does not cause a perception of a round Earth, it causes the perception of a flat Earth (for any human living on its surface).

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