Sensation - Chapter 4 Sensation 1 Introduction To survive...

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2/2/2009 1 1 Chapter 4: Sensation Introduction To survive we must know the world around us because most objects in the world are charged with meaning. So “Where does knowledge come from?” The simple answer is through our senses . 2 3 The Origins of Knowledge
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2/2/2009 2 The Origins of Knowledge Empiricisms (experience) says that we collect information from our senses and transform that experience into knowledge. John Locke (1632-1704) John Locke says that human mind is like a blank tablet ( tabula rasa ) on which experience writes. Empiricists argued that all knowledge comes through stimuli that excite the senses. 4 Stimuli To get information, energy from objects or events ( distal stimuli ) impinges on the sensory surface generating proximal stimuli. Distal Stimulus Proximal Stimulus 5 Empiricism However, there are problems with empiricism, e.g., how do we perceive qualities like, depth , size, and shape, not directly given in the proximal stimulus? The empiricists answer by asserting that much of perception is built up through learning by association . How is the hand closer than the car, for they cast an image on the retina that is similar in size. 6
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