Introduction

Introduction - 1 1 Introduction: Early Philosophies of...

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1 Introduction: Early Philosophies of Perception Chapter 1 1 Senseless Person Think of a person without senses. What would her world like? What would she know? Helen Keller (1880-1968) 1 Sensibility and Reality “What is real? How do you define real? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain. This is the world that you know.” —Morpheus’ answer to Neo in The Matrix, 1999
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1 Introduction • Early Philosophy of Perception • Nativism and Empiricism • The Dawn of Psychophysics • Biology of Perception 1 Early Philosophy of Perception Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” (380 BCE) and reality. 1 Early Philosophy of Perception Perception and your sense of reality are the products of evolution: – Survival, – Importance of type of energy in the environment determines which senses have developed. – Five human senses Seeing Hearing Smelling Tasting Feeling
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1 Animal Senses Some species sense energies that humans cannot: –Bees see ultraviolet lights –Rattlesnakes sense infrared energy –Dogs and cats can sense sounds with higher frequencies –Birds, turtles, and amphibians use magnetic fields to navigate –Elephants can hear very low-frequency sounds, which are used to communicate 1 Early Philosophy of Perception Heraclitus (540–480 BCE): “You can never step into the same river twice.” – Everything is always changing – Idea that perceiver cannot perceive the same event in exactly the same manner each time Adaptation: A reduction in response caused by prior or continuing stimulation 1 Early Philosophy of Perception Democritus (460–370 BCE): The world is made up of atoms that collide with one another, and the sensations are caused by these when they
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This note was uploaded on 03/09/2010 for the course PSY 4283 taught by Professor Ahmad during the Fall '09 term at Henderson.

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Introduction - 1 1 Introduction: Early Philosophies of...

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