B51.CH1.docx

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11 Apr 2012
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Chapter 1
Early Philosophy of Perception
- Plato: “The Allegory of the Cave”, our conception of reality depends on what we can learn about
the world through our senses
- Heraclitus: “You can never step into the same river twice”, everything is always changing,
therefore no two experiences can ever be the same
- Perception does not only depend on energy and events that change in the world, but also on the
qualities of the perceiver
- Adaptation: a reduction in response caused by prior or continuing stimulation
- Democritus: believed that sensations are caused by atoms leaving objects and making contact
with our sense organs, and therefore our senses should be trusted because perception is the result
of the physical interaction between the world and our bodies
Primary Qualities: can be directly perceived i.e. weight, texture
Secondary Qualities: require interaction between atoms from objects and atoms in the
perceiver
- Sensory Transducer: a receptor that converts physical energy from the environment into neural
activity ex. In eyes, ears, skin, nose, and tongue
Perception deals with the interpretation of those signals, and is more likely to depend on
experience then sensory reception
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