The Fallibility of Sense Perception Marwan Al-edrus

Marwan Al-Edrus

Group Members Zoe, Alex, Ansar

Date: February 1st to Feb 7th

WOK: Sense Perception


Table of Contents

  • Journal Entries
  • Reflection on Journal Entries
  • Presentation Powerpoint Link
  • Script
  • Our Knowledge Question
  • Essential Questions
  • Supplementary Imagery
  • Extension Proposals
  • Elective Reading

Journal Entries

Sensory Perception: Reflection 1

I am fascinated by the fact that a deaf percussionist manages to perform by sensing vibrations via her feet. Asa musician, I find this an incredible fact.

I am also fascinated by the concept of echolocation, as developed by Daniel Kish.

I’ve learned about the context of sense perception in my psychology class, in the way that not

Perception is a perspective. It’s subjective. That’s where one has to be careful. A literal point of “view” is not always objective, despite the objectivity of the sensation itself.

Plan for Presentation: Blindfold everyone/Take them to the Blackbox. Play halloween sound effects. We will bring a guinea pig and lizard. Ansar wants to bring a pig fetus. The blackbox will be pitch black on top of the darkness. The point of our presentation is that without our sense of vision, our perception of things could be drastically altered. We have this idea of whispering our entire presentation.

Our senses rely on the others to back their own up, but say you hear footsteps. How can you tell if the footsteps are real if you can’t see where the sound emanates from, but just the fact that by the sense of sound, you can tell it’s behind you? Some senses could be illusionary depending on our sense of perspective. Not is all what it seems.

Sensory Perception: Reflection 2

My initial idea for the presentation:

I want to go to the blackbox and bring blindfolds. I would setup an activity that would challenge their senses. Vision is probably our most important sense, and they’d have to work without it. I also want there to be a big reveal, in terms of after they take off their blindfolds. The ultimate goal of the presentation is to defy their expectations. What that entails exactly is up for debate.

Final idea for the presentation:

It’s Wednesday. We’re still coming up with ideas. The other group members wanted to do something related to defying the expectations of the taste of a lemon, but I believe we’ve ultimately decided not to use that one. We still have more ideas going through, and we probably won’t be completely ready for next class which is project work day unless we work on it during tomorrow before we arrive to class on Friday. We’re not even completely sure what Essential Question we’ll be working on in the presentation. An activity that was offered up was the possibility of doing magic tricks, or perhaps even tricks related to playing cards. In that similar vein, we could just talk about the whole theme of deception in magic, which is something I would like to do. We’ll see.

Sensory Perception: Reflection Day 3

What do we need to accomplish today? Finalize the details of our project for sure. We were previously still in the phase of just coming up with ideas. We probably have amassed enough to start formulating an outline for our project/activity.

I still feel like doing something related to the blackbox and messing with our students expectations via the blindfolding of their vision. I believe my group members have discarded the idea of doing something related to taste, but are still wary of doing anything that is as simple as a magic trick. Our group chemistry is not a problem at all, despite the obstacles our group is facing.

What have we accomplished?

There was a lot of argument as to what to do. We only just came up with the gist of our presentation at the end of class. We had also changed our entire essential question for our presentation. Looking back at our previous journal, our group chemistry was challenged as the deadline loomed. We ultimately have not decided to use blindfolds in the blackbox. We’ve elected to doing something related to teaching via non verbal communication and verbal communication. Our new question revolves around the fallibility of the statement “All knowledge begins with sensory perception”. We aim to somewhat disprove it. We will definitely have to work on this project outside of class since we have to present next class. We didn’t get much work done today, and that work will have to be made up during the weekend. It has been an interesting day, filled with a prolific amount of flowing ideas, and it was quite hard for us all to agree on something ultimately. I’m glad we managed to come up with something in the end however. We have progressed.

Sensory Perception: Reflection Day 4

Our presentation could’ve been planned better. As the final days of our group loomed, our group chemistry faltered at the hit of our obstacles. So, my goal for this presentation is that all our brainstorming, planning, and work we’ve done for this project we’ve put our blood, sweat, and tears into is executed in a fashion that is representative of our effort. It has been an interesting period, and perhaps if we had a different topic that we could all agree on better, our group could have shown its true colors (to our fullest extent). My personal goal for this project is to get through it. That’s simply all there is to it. Now’s the time to let the elements fly and see where it takes us.

Post Presentation: I thought we did relatively well. One of my group members would definitely think otherwise, but that doesn’t deter my opinion of our effort. Next project, I want to be grouped up with different, more agreeable people. Most of our group members would agree that there were some blatant chemistry issues, and so I want to see what working with other people in the class is like. I found the unit as a whole pretty interesting, and that this will be one of the more interesting topics to cover in TOK.

Presentation Powerpoint

Reflection of the Process via Journal Entries

The process could definitely have been smoothed over if we had agreed on an idea early on. I believe that's where we are mostly at fault. Halfway through the process, we started casting blame on each other, which was counterproductive. Despite all the problems, I still think we all understand Sense Perception fairly well. The presentation itself was not bad either, and seemed prepared.

Script and Terms

If we go by the preliminary definition of Knowledge offered to us in the second chapter as Justified True Belief, then we can conclude that a Source of Knowledge must be something, some-event, some-experience capable of supplying all three.

The term reliable knowledge is not used in the same sense as a reliable car. Rather than being something of consistently high quality in terms of performance, reliable knowledge is a type of knowledge that, qualitatively speaking, has a high “Justified” rating.

Empiricism: the philosophical view that the source of all knowledge is sense perception and the experiences derived from it.

Rationalism: the philosophical view that knowledge can be inherent; as in it does not require a source, but rather is present from the moment the knower becomes a conscious entity.

A Knower is anything or anyone capable of generating and storing knowledge. E.G: a book can store knowledge but it is not a knower, thereby that definition cannot be correct- on the other hand a chimpanzee (presumed to be a thing for the purposes of inclusiveness) is a knower, as common sense would dictate it, and it can both create and store knowledge.

Knower’s Perspective is the biases and the preconceived notions that a Knower has while obtaining more knowledge. This can be seen through biases that people have in life such as political and religious views. In this way Knower’s Perspective is essential in understanding how and why a person knows what they know.

Eyewitness is a term used to describe a knower who has first hand sensory experience of an event or issue, and is thereby a holder of Personal Knowledge of that particular event.

Testimony is the information that is released by the eyewitness in the act of retelling their knowledge of an event with the purposeful intent of providing a truthful recount of their experiences i.e. the speaker has to believe that it is true the whole time.

First Hand is essentially another way to describe Personal Knowledge; that being knowledge that is, on a conscious level, independently generated within a knower’s mind rather than knowledge that is shared by another knower-entity.

Our Knowledge Question:

Other Essential Questions

  • To what extent is vision the most reliable sense?
  • What is the influence of previous knowledge on Sense Perception

Supplementary Imagery

(Left: A/B are same color) (Middle: Dog in Fingerprint) (Right: Forward/Backward Facing?)

Extension Proposal:

"Your Perception is Not Always Reality"

Nikos Konstantinou analyzes the fallibility of Sense Perception. That's the central theme of our own presentation, and I learned a lot from watching this TED Talk.

"Can we Create New Senses for Humans?"

David Eagleman explores the possibilities of new senses. I thought this was interesting and opened my mind to the topic, and so I propose this be an elective reading

Elective Reading

Moby Dick:

I find it fascinating to think about how whales see. It is quite interesting to conceptualize this idea of not being able to see ahead, but only at the sides. I like this source as an elective reading

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