Theorie de ma Connaissance

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Randomness & Silence. The Inquisitor & The Anarchist. In a time-space continuum, spinning a warped reality. Relativity and Authenticity. Authentique mais pas vrai. Esprit. L'existence ou l'essence.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


To say that we know something we imply that we have a true and justified belief. There are different ways of knowing, which include sense perception and reason. In this essay, sense perception is defined as the acquisition of knowledge using our senses and reason is defined as a way of knowing that employs logic; a method of thought that does not defy evidence. As appropriate to the situation one way of knowing may be more beneficial than the other but reason and sense perception are not independent of each other, in that, the majority of the time, the ways of knowing are dependent on each other.

An analysis of sense perception requires an understanding of its nature and power. Sense perception involves an active, selective and often interpretative process of achieving conscious knowledge of the external world through our five senses. Sense Perception has both advantages and disadvantages. Knowledge gained in this way is grounded in observable "facts" and is thus termed objective, claims of knowledge may be tested and criticized relatively easily, it is basic to the scientific method, which has proven to be a valuable process in establishing a great deal of our knowledge in the modern world, it is a way of knowing that often can be tested repeatedly. It is also the most believable and effective way of evidence first hand and a rapid way of knowing once your senses can detect the stimulus.

But sense perception is subject to the fact that not all phenomena are easily observable and Perceptions are also affected by their environment as exemplified by the fact that lights in a picture are only perceptible when there are darker shades. Observable data takes on meaning by the way that it is organized and interpreted, and such organization/interpretation may introduce bias, emphasis on "objectivity" may mask "subjective" influences. What we perceive is undoubtedly affected by our emotions and the influence of the bias of one wants to perceive- the pattern- seeking nature of our minds. Previous knowledge affects it, as sense perception cannot be utilized in a vacuum but alongside experiences.

Regardless of the fact that our senses open us up to various possibilities of knowledge our senses have limits and can at times mislead us (e.g. optical illusions, hallucinations).The biological constitution of a living organism influences, and at times limits its sense perception. Humans are for example only sensitive to certain ranges of stimuli e.g. 20Hz to 20 kHz define our minimum and maximum audibility ranges. Furthermore, sense perceptions are inarguably subject to expectations, assumptions and beliefs and where there are gaps in our perceptions, our imaginations fill them up in accordance with our expectations.

Still, the predominance of visual perception inclines the perceiver to ignore or insufficiently consider information that is obtained from other senses. We cease to see the things that we are familiar with, so that we do not perceive all that we should perceive, if we choose to rely only on our visual sense.

Reason involves a variety of elements that effectively results in the construction of meaning as a product of interactions of and amendments to ideas. Because reason must be coherent, consistent and based on logical validity and rigor, it is easier for the knower to provide justifications for his knowledge claims as they have resulted from a reproducible, chronological and rational series of thought processes. Reason thus allows the knower to escape the problems that feeling, imagining or wishing pose to him.

Reason does not depend upon the limits of sensory observation, it is checked by rules of logic and internal consistency in its least formal practice, this is often a "common sense" way of knowing. It enables one to determine why not how and allows for independence of thought.

Nonetheless, the fact that reason results form logical thought does not mean that reason is always universal and objective, or that it is based on laws of logic that are incontrovertible. In fact, at times our ability to reason is affected by emotions and reason cannot really be objective when foreknowledge is present. Beliefs affect our capacity to reason and recognize valid arguments, it is dependent on sufficiency and accuracy of facts, as flawed facts lead to flawed reasoning and insufficient information is likely to lead one to draw incorrect conclusions.

Again, reason works with abstractions that may be unrelated to the "real world we live in" by ignoring the details that other ways of knowing for example, sense perception may provide. Logical arguments may hide fallacies and rhetorical conceits as what at first may seem "logical" may turn out to be merely social/cultural convention.

Whether or not we choose to apply reason in order to come by knowledge the inextricably interwoven nature of sense perception and reason as ways of knowing as implied by Immanuel Kant when he said, “Concepts without perceptions are empty, perceptions without concepts are blind”, cannot be overemphasized.

Therefore it cannot be conclusively stated that with sense perception or reason one is universally more reliable than the other. It follows that in some situations sense perception provides the knower with the most accurate information and in other situations that sense knowledge must be acquired by employing the logic that reason affords. Nonetheless, one must maintain that these ways of knowing are not independent of each other but rather act as complimentary stages in the acquisition of knowledge and the justification of a knowled

Time-space crapinum

A plausible definition of time that would universally satisfy is beyond the scope of this student and this crap; however, it may be partially characterised as a system of distinguishing and sequencing events, to compare their durations and the intervals between them, and to quantify the motions of objects . We call what we know about, the past, where we are, the present and what we do not know, the future. But how valid and useful is our concept of time.

Often related to space, time is a dimension that allows two similar events occurring at the same point in space to be distinguished and perhaps measured by the interval between them. At times we consider time as a causative force, capable of acting on people and object; we age and our bodies become worn, similarly objects dilapidate with time because time is associated with change.

We are slaves to time are we not? If it is evening in Australia and morning here what disallows the acceptance of an overturning of this? Time fascinates me because I am given to think that it is illusory and much too mechanized. Ideas of the effects of time on us and the things around us are intriguing and make time and its validity an interesting concept to explore.

Can time be proven to be real or is it merely illusory. Personally, the latter seems more likely than the former. We live in an illusory world of becoming and seeing so perhaps time fits neatly in this illusion. But time has no effect on those things that are real or true. We can only have full knowledge of what is real, what exists and such as those are timeless. Reality exists outside of time and as such time must be illusory. If it is true that an apple is a fruit, it was true a thousand years ago and will be true in a million years. Why then is time relevant?

Time is experienced subjectively and differently and yet we quantise it objectively, that does not take into account each individuals experience of it. Our notions of time are subject to the scales that they are looked at with and one can argue that we have different notions of time over time. The Islamic calendar works differently than the traditional calendar but this renders it no less ‘true’ than our calendar.

We use time to define and interpret the nature and relevance of our experiences but one must agree that even those interpretations change over time. Granted, we must find a way to systemise all the events we experience, a way that is coherent and indeed time was the product of that necessity. Even so, at times, time contradicts the revelations of our consciousness.
I came across the argument that it is valid because it is a measurement of how things are flowing in the universe, how atoms are moving; a measurement of how things happen. Also that, if one is anxiously awaiting something, time seems to pass more slowly because one achieves a heightened awareness of one’s surroundings. But if a second feels like an hour to us then that is exactly what it is.
I recently took my SATs; I clicked the button to view my results and had to wait at least an hour, by my watch barely a minute had passed. How do we disregard the fact that that was how long I consciously experienced the event? WE could not possibly allow our consciousness to determine everything because that would perhaps give rise to much too much irregularity, perhaps our concept of time allows for science to achieve more consistency which perhaps facilitates the acquisition of knowledge.

The usual objection to the reality of time is "we can only perceive the present, but we can see into the distance", ignoring the fact that seeing into the distance is in some ways seeing into the past; since light takes time to travel, the farther something is, the longer it takes light from it to get to us, and thus the images we see of far away things are from earlier in time than the images of closer things.

Distances can also seem to change depending on how much weight one is carrying, or if one is in a race of some sort. Five feet can be a lot if you're dragging five hundred pounds or it could be only a little if it is the distance between you and an angry bear. Measurement of both instances would indicate five feet. That does not discredit distance as a valid concept. Time flow changing with velocity is part of relativity, and according to relativity, length also changes with velocity. Time-dilation doesn't is perhaps simply met with more fascination than length-contraction for reasons I am unable to explain satisfactorily.

Over time, time has become more and more relevant to society. There are and have been a variety of instruments created for the measurement of time. The measurement of time is so critical to the functioning of modern societies that is it coordinated at an international level. The basis for scientific time is a continuous count of seconds based on atomic clocks around the world . However, if this mechanised conception of time was indeed real and true it would suggest that we have a prescribed fate and no freewill. And suppose we take to belief of the notion of the existence of an immortal soul, or religion’s concepts of eternal life, what happens to time then? Does time merely have a beginning and then and no end, is that even possible?

The arrow of time points forwards only? Why do we believe this to be true? How can we say time to be real? Is time itself timeless and outside the limits of its own self. How then is it not imagined? Time is what is measured by a clock, so time is defined in terms of space and movement. Movement is defined in terms of space and time thus time is defined in terms of space and space and time eventually time is defined in terms of space, space, space and space.

There is a speed of time. It is dt/ds, the rate of perceived temporal change over absolute relativistic displacement but it too but based on my understanding does not appear to be a useful concept. For example, if we have a graph of x and t points, it looks static. What determines how fast the "scanning line" on the t-axis moves? The concept of the speed of light however, gives us some translation abilities between time and space.

Time is as valid a concept as space, which is to say that accepting space as real ought to be equivalent to accepting time as real. To accept one and not the other is like accepting the existence of blue but not red. And just as red and blue are subsumed into a greater concept of "colour", so are time and space more properly aspects of a greater concept of "space-time", which is perhaps the more valid concept with space and time being themselves only projections thought up by man.

Although time may be illusory, time is a valid concept; it is possible to define a 4-direction with the property of "past-future", i.e. the 4-vector with the most negative square relativistic displacement, and it is possible to perform objective measurements of displacement along this 4-direction such that one can calculate what other observers will measure. On the other hand, identifying a specific idea of "time" invites absurdities like the idea of a "timeline", of a chronology shaped like a river that can bend independently of space. This idea is completely wrong, and thus is a risk of postulating a "time".

So perhaps time is not a good concept, and space is not a good concept, and perhaps one should only think of "space-time” the ideas of "time-like" and "space-like" while discarding space and time. Unfortunately, space and time are necessarily separated when working in coordinate systems, making this formulation a bit unreasonable.

Time can be a useful concept, and I think that it is just as valid as "space", and that neither are as valid as "space-time", but validity and usefulness are different questions, with both having the answer of "yes but with qualifications". Can we know that time is real? No, but we can neither say that time is unreal for we do not possess the apparatus that enable us to determine the truth. We have conceptualized time as part of a measurement system and it indeed facilitates our pursuit of knowledge in the sciences reasonably well acting as a fundamental quantity that enables the description of other quantities.