Theories of Perception: Empirical Theory of Perception Berkeleys Theory of Reality Direct Realism Moderate Thomistic Realism THEORY OF PERCEPTION: As held by philosophers like John Locke & David Hume, there is a correspondence between mental images & objects in the real world. Sensory elements stand forever between us & external The Idea Corresponde The Object world. nce G itself
A P Veil of Appearance images, or copies If true ideas are pictures, of real objects, then what we have in our mind and immediately know are only those pictures (not real forms). However, we can never really know whether or not those pictures correspond to real REPRESENTATIONAL GAP: The thing in mind is a copy of thing as it is in itself (not pictorial but ideas are intentional; of things):Comparis The intentional Idea
The gap is what is between us & reality; we are trapped by our ideas, concepts, & images. on G The Object itself
A Indubitability: When our own ideas are absolutely clear & distinct, free from all contradiction, then we are certain possess the truth. There is no way towe determine accuracy of the P The idea of the coffee cup is the representation. idea since the coffee cup is outside the mind and the idea is in the mind. The coffee cup is always out there and our representation is always in here. The two can never be brought along side
George Berkeleys (1685-1753) Idealism: DIRECT The Idea PROJECTION: FROM GOD GOD HIMSELF Berkeley denies the existence of material substance. Minds (or spirits) & their ideas are all that exist. While minds are essentially active, ideas are passive & inert. Out ideas of sense perception are not caused by material objects that lie behind a veil of perception, but directly by God; He is the direct cause of our ideas which are both immediate & indubitable. What we call objects are simply ideas of sense (projections from God), which exist only in the mind. An object unperceived by a person can still exist because
it is perceived by God. A spirit or mind Berkeleys argument is used to refute both atheism and skepticism. DIRECT REALISM: Mind-and-language independent world. DIRECT The Idea AWARENESS: SELF-EVIDENT The Object itself Our foundational beliefs rest upon
direct access to the real world & objective truth We see a thing for what it is; we have the capacity to recognize & categorize. From many observations we develop a concept of what that thing is. We learn to associate a term with our awareness of the object by use of senses The object is indeed that kind of thing. We look to confirm what we had already seen. We each can compare the object that is given in our experience with our concept (thought) of that object to determine if they correspond. Thus, we must pay very close attention to what is present before our minds in experience. There is no need Direct Realism: 3 Kinds of Knowledge: Object X
Simple Seeing: Knowledge by acquaintance. have a direct awareness of object X: Thus, I It is not limited to sense perception; we have conscience as well (e.g., natural, moral law). Simple seeing comes before the formulation of a concept. Seeing as: the formulation of a mental judgment. For example, seeing red on an apple formulates a concept of redness. Seeing that: We have reasons for our belief; it is justified true belief (eg., we are able to pick out a red apple from among other colored apples). Apple, anyone? We saw object X as it is; We learned to associate the apples picture with the word apple;
We developed a concept of what a red apple is from many observations; We can go into the grocery stores produce section and be able to pick out a red apple from among other kinds of apples. Consider the following: In the JETS article, Post-Conservatives, Foundationalism, and Theological Truth: A Critical Evaluation (June 2005) R. Scott Smith argues the following: 1. Foundationalism or basic beliefs do not require indubitability or invincible certainty in order for a truth claim to be justified (.e.g, we exist). 2. If we have ample reasons or evidence for our belief, than the burden of proof is upon the person who challenges us. He contends that we can, and often do. Consider the following:
By way of illustration R. Scott Smith states: Allison can know that her light is on even though this knowledge is not completely certain: The proposition Allison takes herself to know that the light is on, but in fact it is not self-self-contradictory. However, Allisons knowledge that the light is on does not require that this proposition be self-contradictory. Thus one can have knowledge even though it is logically possible that one is mistaken. In fact, we sometimes contrast knowing something with know it with certainty, implying that there is a contrast between knowing with certainty and simply knowing. Thus simple knowing is till knowing even if it is not certain [Ibid., 363]. Consider the following: He goes on to say: But how do we know this? This leads to a crucial point: we each can compare the object that is given in our experience with our concept of that object, to see if they match up. That is, I can compare my thought of something to that thing as it
is given in my experience. I can see if they are the same or different, and can see if my thought of that thing does (or does not do) anything to modify it. This is where I think we must pay every close attention to what is present before our minds in experience, for we can compare our concepts with things in the world, and we can see that they are different, and that my thought (or, awareness, or language use) does not modify its object. Consider the following: Lastly, R. Scott Smith claims: As [Dallas] Willard argues, even those who deny such access to the real world do this all the time, yet they additionally hold that in thinking, seeing, or mentally acting upon some object, we modify it, such that we cannot get to the real thing in itself. But this is nonsense, as that very ability to access the real, objective world is presupposed in that denial [Ibid., 361].
MODERATE THOMIST MODEL: Mind-and-language independent world grounded in the nature of reality which God created. DIRECT The Idea AWARENESS: The Object itself SELF-EVIDENT Direct access to the real world & objective truth observable through the senses 1. The world is able to enter the mind by virtue of the forms that constitute the things in the world as the kinds of things they actually are. 2. Objectivity is possible because of the direct connection that the mind has
with the world, and the fact that any truth claim is subject to analysis in terms of first principles of logic (e.g., law of non-contradiction). 3. Self-evident undeniable first principles of thought and being constitute a foundation upon which objectivity is based. 4. There is an undeniable and unavoidable reality and all truth claims are reducible to first principles, not deducible from first principles. These first principles are discoverable & universal because of the nature of reality. While they dont deny we have preconditions, first principles of logic are transcendental because they transcend every perspective & are Consider the following: Norman Geisler argues for validity in interpretation by claiming that all textual meaning is in the text itself. Geisler states, The objective meaning of a text is the one given to it by the author, not the one attributed to it by the reader [Geisler, Systematic Theology, 1:173]. He goes on to say, The meaning is not found beyond the text (in Gods mind), beneath the text (in the mystics mind), or behind the text (in the authors unexpressed intention); it is
found in the text (in the authors expressed meaning). For instance, the beauty of a sculpture is not found behind, beneath, or beyond the sculpture. Rather it is expressed in the sculpture [Ibid., 1:174]. The writer is the efficient cause of the meaning of a text (by which). Geisler applies Aristotles six causes of meaning to the issue of objectivity: The writer is the efficient cause of the meaning of a text (by which). The writers purpose is the final cause of its meaning (for which). The writing is the formal cause of its meaning (of which). The words are the material cause of its meaning (out of which). The writers ideas are the exemplar cause of its meaning (after which). The laws of thought are the instrumental cause of its meaning (through which).
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