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    1. #1
      Member Lowercase Society's Avatar
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      The subjective nature of perception.

      This is a FIRST DRAFT paper i am writing for my Theory of Knowledge class...i have it done WAY in advance



      ‘To what extent may the subjective nature of perception be regarded as an advantage for artists but an obstacle to be overcome for scientists?’



      An artist and a scientist both observe a beautiful valley, enclosed by snow capped mountains. There is a ‘perfect picture’ ecological environment, and the sun is unveiled by clouds, shining in an open sky. The artist and the scientist both have differing perceptions of the utopia surrounding them. The artist might receive profound inspiration from the scenery to paint a picture or write a poem, express inner emotions, or to reveal this beauty to the unfortunate others who do not get to behold its magnificence. The scientist might observe the ecological conditions that have faced and are facing the horizon, and contemplate how the evolution of the surrounding mountain range caused the valley to be produced, how the river formed or where and why the water continues to run, and the constraints to every living thing. Both of the individuals use the power of observation, but receive it in a completely different way, through theory laden perception.

      Through theory laden perception, our observations are influenced by our background or past, and the experiences we have. The most important thing to realize concerning theory laden perception is the way in which an individual organizes his knowledge (perception) and creates a summary (theory) of the knowledge, because it is based upon the past, experiences or history of events. The scientist, having a background of science, would perceive the beautiful valley with scientific explanations based upon what he has learned and studied according to his/her own interest. The artist, having a background of art, would perceive the beautiful valley with artistic, emotional explanations based upon the factors of his/her past. Henry Bergson stated, “The eyes see only what the mind is prepared to comprehend”. If this is the case then the scientist will only perceive, and is limited to, his minds’ comprehension and the knowledge leaned; the artist is limited by his ability to produce art, and the emotions being experienced. For example, in the area of the heliocentric and geocentricism views of the past, a heavy debate on which view to support was rampant. Different scientists and different artist had diverse views on which view to support. A scientist, based upon his own theory laden perception would find and support evidence sponsoring his own view. An artist, based upon his own theory laden perception would produce, or view in pleasure, art on which view he supported.

      There is a bias towards artists in the area of perception, for artists merely observe and exert; scientists use methodological areas of observation in investigation to prove a hypothesis that will hopefully or gradually become a theory. There is one thing that separates scientific perception from artistic perception: emotional influences. Art is a way of expressing the emotions inside an individual. Emotion is the one advantage that scientists can not have. However, emotions can be used by scientists to harness their enthrallment, and obtain motivation to understand things further and be dedicated by purpose, but cannot produce a lifestyle out of pure emotion. Scientifically, an investigation has to be strictly controlled, whereas an artist can, for example, write a poem that does not have to be controlled by any laid out rules or ethical principles. Ethically, a scientist must not let emotions control an experiment, but can let emotions influence his/her motivation. There is also one thing that separates artistic perception from scientific knowledge (perception): concrete fact. In art, nothing can be ‘proved’, but in science every single hypothesis has to be proven and tested over an over before it becomes a theory.

      Science is critiqued based on the absolute of research, experimentation and consistent test results from the variables and controls, whereas art is critiqued either as a work under progress or a final work based upon the final opinion of the viewer. One can judge a piece of art with a simple opinion but one cannot judge, for example, gravity with an opinion. Gravity is more complex, and requires more effort than a picture hanging on a wall (even as a picture hanging on a wall would be affected by gravity!). Gravity is more relevant to humanity and has more purpose in every day life. We cannot observe gravity; although we can observe the effects of gravity we cannot directly see the ‘current’ of it. Now, concerning art, we can observe the effect of art by the expressions or emotions viewers have, and we can observe it wholly, as a complete expression of the artist creating the piece. The history of art is nothing more than the record of how people have used their minds and imaginations to symbolize who they are and what they value. History is full of such pivotal moments, when our perceptions are altered by new data. We move from version to version, confident that the latest is the most complete and accurate description of the world so far. When a certain scientifical ‘breakthrough’ occurs, a metaphorical explosion occurs in reaction to that ‘breakthrough’. For instance, Darwin’s epoch-making Origin of Species, scientists will actively try to further prove or disprove his theory (as well as any other ‘breakthrough’ in science). This concept of progression was born and with it the view that history is a process of change for the better. Just a few years down the road Einstein’s theory of relativity cut the ground from under Darwin’s theory and replaced it with an attitude whose relative nature found formidable support in the 1920’s from Heinsenberg’s uncertainty principle. The historical situations and the cultural acceptability provided a theory laden perception in every scientist from then on to have this background of knowledge (that is still being studied) that is installed into their perceptions in everyday life.

      Both art and science are culturally invented, as culture is something that derives from human invention. Depending on the culture a certain scientist or artist studies in and on his theory laden perception determines how he/she develops or produces his hypothesis or piece of art.

      Is there a middle ground? Take for instance Leonardo Da Vinci, a very profound painter, sculptor, architect, musician, engineer, inventor, and scientist. He is considered both a scientist and an artist. Da Vinci was a man who, through both science and art, developed engineering and artistic paintings that defy the heights of some technology today. One might favour his art over his science achievements, but it is undeniable that he was a man who observed a valley and saw both scientific observations and artistic observations. This man developed a science to be used in art and an art to be used in a science.

      The extent that a bias is held towards artists rather than scientists in the area of perception is generally perceived, by society, as a great advantage for artists. This general perception can be very misleading, as it is not a large chasm to cross between science and art, popular to heavy belief. It is merely a misunderstanding upon different areas of knowledge that are supported by an individual’s theory laden perception as well as the culture one is reared in. General George S. Patton, Jr. remarked, “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”, scientific thinking and artistic thinking are most obscurely different, but both are needed, and have roots in the fundamental nature of life. An observation is merely a personal perception and depending on the area of interest one owns, a hypothesis or a piece of art is conceived within the mind, and subsequently birthed in two completely different ways.
      "i am the crumpled sheets of paper behind an artists' attempt at perfection"


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    2. #2
      Generic lucid dreamer Seeker's Avatar
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      Interesting. Perhaps the inventors and entrepreneurs of this world are those individuals that have managed to see the world from both an artistic and a scientific perspective simultaneously?
      you must be the change you wish to see in the world...
      -gandhi

    3. #3
      Member Lowercase Society's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Seeker
      Interesting. Perhaps the inventors and entrepreneurs of this world are those individuals that have managed to see the world from both an artistic and a scientific perspective simultaneously?
      THANK YOU so much for reading all of it! I really appreciate it...
      "i am the crumpled sheets of paper behind an artists' attempt at perfection"


      www.myspace.com/mattnocas (more recent pics and info)
      Pictures of me here-----> (4 years old now)
      http://www.dreamviews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5073

    4. #4
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      I think everyone sees things from both. Might change from person to person but both are always there.

      I think you are characterizing people by what they do at their job and not as a person. If you have an artist and a scientist and you tell one you write a paper on the valley and tell the other to draw a picture of course they will see it different. What if you told the artist to write a paper and the scientist to draw a picture however? Even though the result would be different I think they would end up seeing a lot of the same things.

      So I think what you are trying to do is as important, or more important than your background. If you send them both to a beautiful place and dont tell them to do anything, I think even the scientist will first see things as an artist does.

    5. #5
      Member WerBurN's Avatar
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      it was good...not really broad enough, in my opinion, as i found that you basically just almost repeated the same thing over and over, but good nonetheless...however, i did not like the way you talked about only the scientist and the artist, as if these are the only two perceptions...its far more specific and varied per person that that, each little thing shaping one small piece or bit of their perception and in turn their reality, which then continues to hone and fine tune their perception by creating seemingly similar experiences...but again, thats me...i did notice a typo, towards the top you said 'leaned' instead of 'learned' might wanna fix that...

      ...if you're looking for more ideas etc. then you could go into how reality may not necessarily be how we think it is, due to the fact that we have to use our own perception of reality as a filter...if every mirror in a funhouse stretches your midsection to look like you're fat, are you fat?

      ...i just had to do a similar essay for a creative writing class, where we had to do a research paper on ourselves, using people who know us as sources, so i took the entire paper as if it were an essay on perception, using myself and how people view me as the example...ill post it up here later

      edit: posted the paper...can be found here: http://www.dreamviews.com/forum/viewtopic....p?p=50836#50836

    6. #6
      Member Lowercase Society's Avatar
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      Originally posted by Alric
      I think everyone sees things from both. Might change from person to person but both are always there.

      I have to be OBJECTIVE in my answer though...or else i would have gotten it back with a red ink all over it...looking like blood...
      "i am the crumpled sheets of paper behind an artists' attempt at perfection"


      www.myspace.com/mattnocas (more recent pics and info)
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      http://www.dreamviews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5073

    7. #7
      Member Neil's Avatar
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      Re: The subjective nature of perception.

      Great essay, Lowercase.

      I noticed a possible mistake here:

      Originally posted by Lowercase Society+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Lowercase Society)</div>
      Just a few years down the road Einstein’s theory of relativity cut the ground from under Darwin’s theory and replaced it with an attitude whose relative nature found formidable support in the 1920’s from Heinsenberg’s uncertainty principle.[/b]
      You have confused Darwin with Newton. Darwin's theories about Evolution were not affected or discounted in any way whatsoever by Einstein's Relativity.

      I think you mean to say that Newton's Law's were seemingly contradicted by Einstein's theory of relativity and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle due to the fact that sub-atomic particles act in seemingly very strange illogical ways, which are contradictory to Newton's Laws.

      Anyway, it was an very good read, and is an interesting topic. Here are my views: So its about the relationship between art and science. Both are endeavours to descripe the universe as we perceive it.

      <!--QuoteBegin-Lowercase Society

      one cannot judge, for example, gravity with an opinion.\"
      Of course, its unfair to judge science within the same context as art. The goal of a scientist is to invent mathematical models to provide a good description of the universe. This is very different from the goal of an artist.

      As you mentioned, the recent advances in the last 50 years in so much as Relativity and Quantum Physics, means that now physicists accept that there is no such thing as a single universal truth, or to put it more scientifically, "nothing can ever be proven true or false based on a fixed set of axioms" (Godel's Incompleteness Theorem)
      be

    8. #8
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      A good essay, i'm doing mine on the same topic and needed some inspiration. However i find that you stereotype "The Artist" and "The Scientist", you could either specifay that you're presenting a stereotype or moderate it by saying somthing like "observing as a scientist".
      It's a good essay though, gave me some ideas (though i think mine's going to end up much less poetic)

    9. #9
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      need help

      the essay was interesting... i must say that i REALLYYYYY need help.. im doing my essay on the same question and my deaaline is a week from now. i havent started yet and im absolutely lost! I REALLY NEED HELP.. if anyone can help please contact me by mail, its [email protected]
      please i have no examples, no argument, nothing!
      pleeeaaaassseeee

    10. #10
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      need help

      the essay was interesting... i must say that i REALLYYYYY need help.. im doing my essay on the same question and my deaaline is a week from now. i havent started yet and im absolutely lost! I REALLY NEED HELP.. if anyone can help please contact me by mail, its [email protected]
      please i have no examples, no argument, nothing!
      pleeeaaaassseeee

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