Appearance vs. Reality (gap)

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alex717
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 04:00 pm
We are discussing this in class and I am having some trouble grasping the entire debate. Could someone provide me some examples of this phenomena?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 04:34 pm
@alex717,
alex717;96066 wrote:
We are discussing this in class and I am having some trouble grasping the entire debate. Could someone provide me some examples of this phenomena?



Sure. It appears (looks as if) the Sun goes around the Earth. But the reality is that the Earth goes around the Sun. It appears as if the Earth is flat, but the reality is that the Earth is round. It appears as if whales are fish, but in reality, they are mammals. Iron Sulfide looks like gold (it is called, "fools gold"). But in reality it is not gold at all
 
alex717
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 04:56 pm
@kennethamy,
So then, if you don't mind...We need to address if there is a way to bridge this...So, if I may...Would the bridge then be of the Earth revolving around the sun, instead of the appearance of which, be science's function in disproving this?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 8 Oct, 2009 05:37 pm
@alex717,
alex717;96073 wrote:
So then, if you don't mind...We need to address if there is a way to bridge this...So, if I may...Would the bridge then be of the Earth revolving around the sun, instead of the appearance of which, be science's function in disproving this?


Sorry, I don't know what you mean by, "bridge". Do you mean how we can tell the difference between appearance and reality?
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 05:46 am
@alex717,
Further examples:

1. You and I are walking in the desert on a hot day. We see a lake shimmering at a distance and walk towards it. Sometime later, you turn to me and say, "well, it was a mirage after all, in reality there was no lake."
2. Using a magic carpet, we leave the desert and walk along a path. In the distance is a stone tower on the hill. You say, "look at that round tower over there" and point to it. The path takes us closer, almost to the bottom of the tower, and we find that, in reality, it is actually a square tower.
3. There is a large tree across the street in your neighbor's yard. In the summer it appears leafy and green; in the winter, the leaves are gone and only the stark structure of its branches are to be seen. In reality, though it is the same tree.
 
alex717
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 09:55 am
@jgweed,
Ic, I guess what she is trying to get across is Plato and Descartes' opinions on reality gaps-through appearance and reality. She has used some movies such as the Matrix so sort of illustrate her point. But, I have missed a lot of class and can't really grasp the concept. She uses the word Bridge, is there a gap between appearance and reality and if so, how can it be bridged. Could someone provide an example of that? All of the former examples you guys posted I understand, but where then does the argument come into play.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 10:48 am
@alex717,
alex717;96258 wrote:
Ic, I guess what she is trying to get across is Plato and Descartes' opinions on reality gaps-through appearance and reality. She has used some movies such as the Matrix so sort of illustrate her point. But, I have missed a lot of class and can't really grasp the concept. She uses the word Bridge, is there a gap between appearance and reality and if so, how can it be bridged. Could someone provide an example of that? All of the former examples you guys posted I understand, but where then does the argument come into play.


As for myself, I would think that the gap between appearance and reality could be bridged by logic/critical thinking.

The Matrix could indeed be used as an example here, in that it appears to portray reality, but in reality (the place where people like you and I have to be able to function), it's just a movie.

Also, The Matrix appears to be an original concept to some, when in reality it's just a flashy rehashing of the "brain in the vat" concept. Brain in a vat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 11:15 am
@alex717,
The obvious way to bridge the "gap" between appearance and reality is to take the position that appearance IS reality. Phenomenalogists and Existentialists have attempted to do this.
 
Sorryel
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 11:36 am
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;96275 wrote:
As for myself, I would think that the gap between appearance and reality could be bridged by logic/critical thinking.

The Matrix could indeed be used as an example here, in that it appears to portray reality, but in reality (the place where people like you and I have to be able to function), it's just a movie.

Also, The Matrix appears to be an original concept to some, when in reality it's just a flashy rehashing of the "brain in the vat" concept. Brain in a vat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I don't remember the first Matrix movie very well, but I seem to recall that people did not even quite achieve brain in a vat status, but only the status of a person in a bathtub stuck on a big wall of other people in bathtubs.
Moreover (and here I'm relying on several sessions of idle movie channel prowling in a dazed state trying to figure out which of the other Matrix movies was which while actually spending maybe a total of a half hour marveling at Monica Bellucci's ability to fill out her matrix-generated persona) people's very bathtub denizen status seems to have been imperiled....all of which made me wonder if there is anything consistant at all about the Matrix movies.

Sorry, I just noticed this was Phil 101 and that this here post is a useless elaboration.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 11:37 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;96286 wrote:
The obvious way to bridge the "gap" between appearance and reality is to take the position that appearance IS reality. Phenomenalogists and Existentialists have attempted to do this.


But doesn't this fall apart if one tries to take a drink out of the mirage of a lake, like the one you gave as an example a few posts back?

Or to use your square tower example, if one is hired to build a duplicate of it based only the distant observation of its shape, and so duplicates it as a round tower as a result of the faulty perception of its round appearance, as opposed to the reality of its actual square shape?
 
jgweed
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 03:07 pm
@alex717,
No one drank out of the mirage; both recognised by attending to it that it was in fact a mirage, since it didn't behave as a "real" lake would.

But if one were to hire someone to build a replica of the tower, they would not base it on a distant observation, but provide exact dimensions, height, and so on. Of course, they could ask someone to replicate their view of it from afar (in a painting, for example).

Another way of thinking about this is that we are able ourselves to bridge the "gap" between how something appears and its "factual" appearance by following rules and procedures when we attend to it. We are cautious about some kinds of appearances just because we have learned that we may be deceived at first glance.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 03:15 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;96364 wrote:
No one drank out of the mirage; both recognised by attending to it that it was in fact a mirage, since it didn't behave as a "real" lake would.

But if one were to hire someone to build a replica of the tower, they would not base it on a distant observation, but provide exact dimensions, height, and so on. Of course, they could ask someone to replicate their view of it from afar (in a painting, for example).

Another way of thinking about this is that we are able ourselves to bridge the "gap" between how something appears and its "factual" appearance by following rules and procedures when we attend to it. We are cautious about some kinds of appearances just because we have learned that we may be deceived at first glance.


Could you please explain what is meant by the "gap" between appearance and reality? What is something's "factual" appearance? Does a table have a "factual" appearance as contrasted with what?
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 04:04 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;96364 wrote:
We are cautious about some kinds of appearances just because we have learned that we may be deceived at first glance.


But doesn't this refute the statement that "appearance IS reality"?

Would it be more accurate to say that "appearance provides a provisional reality"?

I don't know. I'm just asking.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2009 08:54 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;96381 wrote:
But doesn't this refute the statement that "appearance IS reality"?

Would it be more accurate to say that "appearance provides a provisional reality"?

I don't know. I'm just asking.


How things look may be how they actually are, but, then again, not. When a magician appears to saw the lady in half, that is not provisional reality. All the audience knows it is a trick. Otherwise, they would be calling the police. Appearances need not be deceptive.
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 04:52 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;96434 wrote:
How things look may be how they actually are, but, then again, not. When a magician appears to saw the lady in half, that is not provisional reality. All the audience knows it is a trick. Otherwise, they would be calling the police. Appearances need not be deceptive.


When a magician performs a trick, such as sawing a lady in half, might there be some in the audience who do not know it is a trick, such as young children, or the feeble-minded?

Appearances need not be deceptive, but sometimes they are. If it were otherwise, magicians would have to find different jobs.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 05:02 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;96993 wrote:
When a magician performs a trick, such as sawing a lady in half, might there be some in the audience who do not know it is a trick, such as young children, or the feeble-minded?

Appearances need not be deceptive, but sometimes they are. If it were otherwise, magicians would have to find different jobs.


Yes. I agree. And?
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 05:22 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;96996 wrote:
Yes. I agree. And?


If there were someone in the audience who did not know it was a trick, would this not constitute a provisional reality? At least as far as they were concerned, as unless we are living in an episode of the Twilight Zone, their perception of reality has no bearing on my perception of reality.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 05:31 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;97002 wrote:
If there were someone in the audience who did not know it was a trick, would this not constitute a provisional reality? At least as far as they were concerned, as unless we are living in an episode of the Twilight Zone, their perception of reality has no bearing on my perception of reality.


If by "provisional reality" you mean that they thought that the lady was being sawed in half, then, yes. They thought it was happening, and were wrong. But why call that "provisional reality"? Everytime we make a mistake, and find out that we made it is, I suppose, "provisional reality". Which is just to say that we thought we were right, and later turned out to be wrong. Why make up a fancy phrase for it? (I guess it is because you are philosophizing, and that's what people like to do when they philosophize).
 
TickTockMan
 
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 05:42 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;97004 wrote:
If by "provisional reality" you mean that they thought that the lady was being sawed in half, then, yes. They thought it was happening, and were wrong. But why call that "provisional reality"? Everytime we make a mistake, and find out that we made it is, I suppose, "provisional reality". Which is just to say that we thought we were right, and later turned out to be wrong. Why make up a fancy phrase for it? (I guess it is because you are philosophizing, and that's what people like to do when they philosophize).


That's what I enjoy about your posts, kennethamy. You cut right to the root of the matter. Thanks for reminding me that I need to choose my words and thoughts more carefully before just hurriedly hitting "submit reply."
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 12 Oct, 2009 05:48 pm
@TickTockMan,
TickTockMan;97007 wrote:
That's what I enjoy about your posts, kennethamy. You cut right to the root of the matter. Thanks for reminding me that I need to choose my words and thoughts more carefully before just hurriedly hitting "submit reply."


Yes. As Wittgenstein used to say to his students before they entered the lecture hall, "Please do not leave your brains on the rack with your hat".
 
 

 
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