Tag Archives: realism

What is sensation and sense data?

We often confuse sensation and perception.

001_a01_camera_obscura_abrazolas

From: Wikipedia.

Think of the camera obscura. There is nothing but light which is making the image on the wall. Or think of a video camera attached to a video screen. The camera captures the light external to it, turns it into data and turns that data in to the video image on the screen. It does not “think” about the image. It does not “have an opinion” of it. It simply reproduces it.

The eye does the same thing. It captures light eternal to it, turns it into data and reproduces that in your brain. Until then it does not “think” about the image. Thinking occurs after that data is received. That raw data is sensation. The processed data after reception is perception.

If you are still not convinced then this talk by Sheila Nirenberg about her research on the prothetic eye is an excellent real-world demonstration of what sensation and sense data is.

One reality

It would be nice if tomorrow I would woke up and a different US president was in the White House. But because there is one reality I have to be content and continue with it.

It would also be nice if I woke up tomorrow morning to find I am a world famous scholar with three important books on my resume. Again, that would not be the case. I must work for those. Sigh.

the empty machine

minds do not emerge
as metaphors
would like them to
the machinery, empty
mysteriously move through
space, time

how are we to know
if any thing exists at all
if this, our greatest illusion
kept up its charade
until the very last
and beyond

i cannot know anything
a god or a self
but only
to have concepts of them
trust them
to be our creations

that the world
out there
is void and full
all at once
from the beginning, and
until the very end