Faliblism of the Senses

There are two aspects to our senses to consider, their proper sensibles and the their common sensibles. The proper sensibles take on a dyadic relation between the thing known and the organ. The thing known affects the sense organ in such a way that we come to know the thing through the sense. Since this is a dyadic relation, there is no error in it.

However, when a sign is introduced error becomes possible. This is because a sign has the capacity to establish a relation with nothing. A sign may point to Troy though Troy no longer exists or to something fictitious such as Aragorn. A dyadic relation does not have this same capacity. A particle cannot interact or collide with nothing. Both sides of the relation must be existent in order for the interaction to take place.

The common sensibles proceed from the proper sensibles as being revealed or objectified by them. This allows for the possibility of error, because there may be the case that the sign relation between the proper sensibles and common sensibles does not terminate in something real.

We see this in the case of TV. We see colors and from this color we also see motion. However, there is nothing “moving” on the screen. Only bits of the screen are changing color giving the illusion of motion. This is also the case with a stick in water. We see properly the colors and from this we also see the shape. The water gives the appearance of the stick being broken, but this is mistaken and can be confirmed by touch.

This brief initial investigation demonstrates the facile dismissal of the senses that occurs when scientists will claim that the senses positively error and we must (incoherently) accept theory over direct experience.

Next we ought to consider perception, which considered abstractly separate from sensation but always and really united, deepens the semiosis of a living being and providing the framework for engaging the world.

This entry was posted in Natural Philosophy, Philosophy, Semiotics. Bookmark the permalink.

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