References and Further Reading 1. The word "knowledge" and its cognates are used in a variety of ways.
Our five senses include sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing. Our senses help us to interact with the world. Without any of them we would not have knowledge of anything as we need either sight or hearing ability to process knowledge.
Therefore we can deduce that without senses we wouldn't have the ability to know anything, let alone truth. Our senses can be deceived at times. For example, when I see and hear an advert on television that attempts to entice me to buy 'the best hair product ever' with 'witty' punch lines and 'special guarantees'.
I go out to the shops to buy the product expecting that when I use it my hair will look just as good as the model's on the advert. The reality in the end is that my hair didn't turn out even half as shiny as hers. The truth was in fact twisted through photo shopping and airbrushing. These kinds of advertisements all over the TV and on the internet tell us how great a product is and can persuade us to buy it; however, the truth may be that the actual product is not as effective as it was made out to be.
Other examples include perceptions of optical illusions where we perceive to see one thing when it isn't scientifically true.
Therefore our senses are not always able to distinguish the truth from something that is designed to deceive us. Another more ultimate example is that if someone were to lie to you, and your hearing senses tell you to believe that person whilst your sight senses tell you they look honest, you have believed a lie that your senses have told you is the truth.
Some people are visually impaired, deaf or have no sense of smell, touch or taste. In these kinds of exceptions, their senses can never be relied on. Perhaps they will have to rely on others senses which, arguably, can't always be reliable.
One might argue that intuition is the only way to uncover truth as it avoids any wrong perceptions that might obstruct truth when we abide by our senses. Intuition is having instinctive knowledge of something. Often our instinct or built-in intuition will tell us to believe something without taking into account what are senses tell us.
For example we may here that a boy is in a lot of pain and even though we can hear him telling us he's fine our natural instinct tells us he needs help. However, intuition and instinct occurs after we initially process our five senses therefore in the long run we need our senses to discover truth.
A sense of intuition leads onto Descartes' view on sense perception. Descartes developed 'the argument of the wax'. Within the thesis he first considers what one can know about a piece of wax using the senses, i. However, when the piece of wax is placed near a fire and melted, all of its qualities change, so that it is now in liquid form when before it was a solid.
Nevertheless, it is the same piece of wax that remains. Our knowledge that the solid piece of wax and the melted piece of wax are the same does not come about through the senses since all of its 'sensible' attributes have altered.
He knows that wax is the same matter although all its properties have changed. In short, the wax substance is constant over time. Descartes' sense information does not tell him this, he "just knows" about its substantiality and identity.
The 'veil of perception problem' In the end, it comes down to our individual opinion as after all how do we know that my black isn't your blue? It all comes down to how we define what 'the truth' is. We all have a different idea of what the word means.In this essay I intend to examine the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes and Rene Descartes, in particular their ideas relating to the science of man, and attempt to explain why their ideas prove that it is not possible to construct a science of man.
Description and explanation of the major themes of René Descartes (–). This accessible literary criticism is perfect for anyone faced with René Descartes (–) essays, papers, tests, exams, or for anyone who needs to create a René Descartes (–) lesson plan.
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Disclaimer: therefore disproving Descartes belief the senses provide a false truth. and therefore again relying upon our senses to guide us in understanding reality and truth. Descartes also believes that we ourselves are also imperfect beings for allowing ourselves to slide back to "old patterns and laziness", and therefore again relying upon our senses to guide us in understanding actuality and truth.