I have a question

Do we see things as they are or as we are?

To a jaundiced fellow, everything is yellow.

To a colour blind person, everything looks bland

When I have a cold, most things are tasteless.

You can come up with many other examples


About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

41 thoughts on “I have a question

  1. Perhaps we see things as we want to see them. If we start with a positive outlook everything seems rosy. If we are having a black day, everything can seem grey. You have set me thinking. Thank you! Have a bright day. 🙂


  2. Mordanicus says:

    Humans cannot see UV, unlike birds or bees, for instance.


  3. fojap says:

    To a jaded person is everything green? :p


  4. “Though they have eyes, yet they can not see.” Einstein speaking of potatoes, April 17th, 1947.


  5. Hariod Brawn says:

    Sort of neither yet both – it’s complex.


  6. tildeb says:

    Our eyes don’t see anything; are the apparatus by which our brains decipher the sensory input and create a images that seems to reflect the physical properties of the external environment. But our brains can do the same with other senses, too. People have been trained to use the skin on their back and the surface of the tongue to ‘see’ this external environment by decoding what an attached metal plate indicates by subtle and altering electrical input. People ‘see’ by sound all the time but they don’t necessarily attach imagery to it. But, to emphasize the point, it is our brains that ‘see’… and so anything that affects the brain necessarily affects how it interprets incoming data.


    • makagutu says:

      I am confused. Is the brain the seeing object or the judging object? Are the two operations one; seeing and judging?


      • tildeb says:

        The problem arises when we use the word ‘see’ and then attribute that sensory mechanism as responsible for interpreting the incoming data. All of our senses receive incoming data and it is our brain that uses the eyes as the primary receiver. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can created visual data in our brains by sound, by touch, by taste, by smell. And this is what pother critter demonstrate.

        The other problem is that we assume that it is the organ we call the eye that ‘sees’… as if this organ possesses the means to map our environment for us (as in ‘Seeing is believing’). This notion is right out of Aristotelian physics and it is wrong. It is our brain that does this job, that does the mapping, that identifies objects and assigns them meaning, and creates a navigation system out of all the incoming sensory data. Our eyes are just one of five input organs and as such are equivalently ‘stupid’ receptors (meaning that the eyes are simply light receivers) but cannot do anything with the data.


    • fojap says:

      True, but the apparatus does affect the information the brain receives. Cats (and other animals that see well in low light) have a different array of balance of photoreceptors than we do. Birds and bees have photoreceptors for ultraviolet. Bees are lacking red.


  7. >>> “Do we see things as they are or as we are?”

    For far too many of us, we see things only as we wish them to be.


  8. nannus says:

    I think what we see is to a large extend a construction and depends on our language, concepts and knowledge, on our cultural traditions and prejudices. There is something there that exists independently of us, but we interpret it. The knowledge and the resulting interpretations can and do change. Perception is a complex activity, it is not just taking things up as they are.
    Many people will take their interpretations to be reality and this unrefelctedness of perception is a main source of trouble and fight.


  9. Science is the best way we have to attempt to see things as they truly are.


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