The Treachery of Perception: A pictorial argument for idealism

This guy is not seeing a real pipe, nor a painting of one. What he sees is at most two images of perception (one for each eye); perhaps only an image of mental representation. The physical painting, as well as the rest of reality external to mind, can never truly be seen, by him or by us.

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2 Comments on “The Treachery of Perception: A pictorial argument for idealism”

  1. Idealism is a perfectly accetpable ontology, BUT it is not the only ontology – it must share pride of place with materialism and behaviorism. Phenomenologically speaking, what we actually experience is an amalgam of materialism/behaviourism/idealism, in which these components shift in proportions depending on the particular situation or circumstances we are in. The “problem” that creates ontological bias is that there is a tendency to over-emphasize one of these components at the expense of the others – and that leads to a partial view which is therefore insufficient and inaccurate. No human ontology is complete without a combination of material objects and forces, concepts and constructs, and behavioural patterns – it is just chauvinism to pretend that one of them is “best” or should be “dominant.”

  2. Gorm says:

    Phenomenologically speaking, all we experience are phenomena. What we make of phenomena are a matter of belief. – We could conclude that appearances must be appearances of something, a mind-independent material of some kind. We can suppose that ideas in our minds are all that really exists. Etc. We can believe whatever we find reasonable. But whatever we believe, we can’t claim that it is truth. So at some fundamental level, we must be without belief. Thoroughly agnostic. All the while allowing ourselves to try our luck with speculative explorations at higher, less fundamental and more permissive levels. – If we go deep enough, to a level of the most extreme, almost unconscious agnosticism, not even our agnostic position can be thought of as exclusive and final in any sense. – Perhaps there is a truth, and perhaps we will even reach it. But until then, radical agnosticism (which is implied in radical constructivism) is the best philosophical foundation.

    All that being said, I do think the above argument for idealism or phenomenalism or skepticism is very important, because this is a quick, but sadly overgrown path to the series of realizations that together constitute radical constructivism (as I understand it).

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