“A fool sees not the same tree as the wise man sees. “-William Blake. This gives rise to the problem of perception. Different people see and perceive different ideas, objects and items differently, leading to varying beliefs. Perception is basically awareness of things through our five senses; touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. Though perception guarantees first hand experience, it falls shorts of true justification due to its relativity in most cases. “Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limit of the world”-Arthur Schopenhauer.
This means that while perception is indeed a way of attaining truth, it is in many cases illusionary. What may seem right to you may not be the real case and the world may not agree. In this context it often leads to ‘believing is seeing’. For example in the nineteenth century, some scientists speculated an unknown planet Vulcan between the sun and Mercury. Bearing this, some astronomers claimed to have seen Vulcan. Yet later no such planet was formed. Thus perception involves a bias and individuality. Emotions involve feelings, passions and moods. Love, anger, jealousy, hatred, disappointment and frustration are all emotions.
Is Disappointment An Emotion
“We think and live in one world; we live and feel in another. ” Marcel Proust. This quote aptly conveys that though emotions are a vital element of human life and without it life would disintegrate, it is extremely biased since it is uncontrolled. Emotions rely wholly on the individual’s perception of the language or argument. Emotions are inborn. They need not be learnt, but are experienced. Yet the experience of two individuals in one case may be different. For example, while bungee jumping one person may be petrified and scared of dying, while another may be thrilled and excited for the new adventure.
Thus emotions reflect the character of the people. Since all people are not alike, emotions too differ highly from person to person. “By doubting we are led to enquire, and by enquiry we perceive the truth. ” Peter Abelard. This is the basis that leads us to gain knowledge by reasoning. Reason involves logic and questioning, which leads to one’s path in pursuit of justification. Thus reason is the voyage to justification and ultimately turning a belief into truth. Though reasoning is often associated with science and mathematics, it is not solely the case.
In fact it is important to reason with the help of ethics, arts, history, religion and human sciences. We must consider the rationality of humans, the morality of the question, the examples of good and bad judgments from history and the extent of creativity and irrationality involved in arts before reasoning an idea and coming to a conclusion. Reason thus takes into account all the possible errors that the hypothesis may account before passing a verdict. It involves analysis and experimentation. It can be tried out a number of times, to ultimately be considered ideal.
There are three main kinds of reasoning; deductive from general to the particular, inductive from particular to the general and informal reasoning that makes use of all the areas of knowledge to gain the truth. Yet it may come to the fact that reason relies on all the three other ways of knowledge and is thus open to fallacies. For example, the way we reason may affect the way we perceive and the character and emotions involved. An impatient person may come to a conclusion at a hasty pace, in spite of using analysis. Also the world is under constant change, thus conclusions based on reason defer as times change.
Yet in spite of all these setbacks, reason undoubtedly pursues truth more than any other way of knowing. Fir example there is no actual night or day, but part of the earth away from the sun experience darkness and the part facing the sun experiences light or day. This is deduced through reason. Yet perception shows darkness and light accounting for day and night, emotions make us feel the difference in the environment at night and day and language tells us the difference. But reason alone tells us the truth in the similarity and contrast existing between night and day.
Similarly though the sun seems to move in the skythis is not the truth. In actuality it is the earth that revolves around the sun. Reason has justified so, with the help of satellite pictures and analysis. Yet perception tells us something contradictory. Thus we may conclude that the extent we can rely on reason as a way of attaining knowledge is much more than any other way of attaining the truth i. e. emotions, language or perception for “Information is acquired by being told, while knowledge is acquired by thinking, reasoning. ” Fritz Machlup.