Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Reality vs. sense

  1. Nov 12, 2003 #1
    Would anyone like to share ideas on what makes something real other than what our senses tell us to believe? Or are we completely dependant on our senses so that even if there was an alternate reality we would never wittness it as it really is. I know this sounds like something straight out of the matrix but I think its a fundametal question of philosophy regardless.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2003 #2
    It is a fundemental question in philosophy history.

    ie The empiricism vs rationalism. Empiricism goes to experience or senses for proof. Rationalism( The classic divide is Locke, Berkeley, and Hume as empiricists. And Descartes, (Spinoza), and Leibniz as rationalists) goes to numbers, thoughts, ideas.

    Personally I have a very slight suspect that thinking (abstract) isn't really something rational, outside sensing, but rather another sense, like listening, seeing, etc. But it's all guessing.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2003
  4. Nov 12, 2003 #3
    Well i'd have to say gullibility has alot to do with what we consider reality. Because certain things have been beaten into our minds ever since we were too young to doubt. A intellectually limited child may go its whole life believing that the moon was made of cheese if the child had no proof that said otherwise.

    ie if nobody knows the truth, or can prove it then the lie is reality because nobody can 'sense' the difference
  5. Nov 12, 2003 #4
    Eight Lectures On Yoga

    A great book which deals with the perception of reality is "Eight Lectures On Yoga" by Aleister Crowley.
    It goes into some great detail about the interpreatation of electrical impulses to the brain, the illusion of colour etc. One must remember this book was published many years before the Matrix etc.
    Another classic example in the book is the way Crowley explains about the perceptions of human character and form, and their permeability depending on conditioning, memory and preceonception.
    Psychology for the advanced.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook