Before I respond to other posts in this thread I want to share with you an experience I had that will bridge the gap between this thread and the next one on Ortega's Doctrine of "Point of View":
[CENTER]My "Point of View" - An Anecdote
My experience several years ago with a cataract in my right eye can serve as another example to illustrate the concept of "point of view." I had been diagnosed as having the beginnings of a cataract in my right eye during a routine examination for new eyeglasses. The ophthalmologist indicated that the lens in the eye had lost its flexibility and that no change in corrective lenses would enable me to have that eye in focus for any position except six inches away. He said that it would gradually obscure the vision in that eye to the point where it would interfere with the vision with my left, which it eventually did.
At first I learned to ignore my right eye and use my left eye for all purposes: reading, driving and using the computer. But then I noticed that the blurring in my right eye was interfering with my reading and computer use, and causing, while driving at night, a blurring of oncoming headlights that was distracting. I then decided to go ahead with cataract surgery.
The cataract surgery involved removing the original rigid lens and replacing it with a clear and more flexible plastic one. It was done in a hospital and required my eye to be bandaged overnight. By the next day, the patch was removed in the doctor's office and he determined that I had 20-40 vision at a distance, which was better than that of my left eye without correction. He indicated that I could remove the right lens from my glasses and replace it with a clear glass lens, if I wished. He did say that I might need a corrective lens for reading, if the eye could not fully adjust to close vision, but that that would be determined after a few weeks.
As I began to adjust to my new situation, I found that, with my right eyeglass lens removed, if I looked at any object at a distance, I could see two clear images, side by side, and at times one slightly higher than the other. With a certain amount of effort I could force my eyes to focus so that the images coincided for a time, but the images kept splitting apart. Gradually, I was able to keep them together so as to form one image, but it took a few days.
Now the interesting thing to me philosophically about this experience was that at the time I was aware of two images simultaneously, both images were equally "real" to me. If, for instance, I looked at a traffic light, I could see two "lights." I could focus on one or the other separately, or "see" both simultaneously. If I rapidly blinked my eyes alternately left and right, I noticed that the "light" shifted position on my "mental screen" and that the whole background and foreground shifted accordingly. Similarly, when I looked down a long corridor and tried to focus on the end, I would at first see two "corridors," although in this case it was much easier to bring them together.
After a few weeks, my vision returned to normal, except for the following phenomenon which persists to this day. If I turn my head to the left, I reach a point where the image of anything I'm looking at, especially the image of a program on the television, separates into two images, and the left image seems to "move" to the left and slightly lower than the right image, to the point where they do not overlap. There is also a difference in quality between the two images and I can shift my attention from one to the other at will, but it's also possible to "see'" both images at the same time.
I visited a specialist in eye problems who told me that what may be happening is that one of the muscles in my left eye ceases to function at a certain point as it attempts to adjust for the fact that I am rotating my head to the left. She said that it might be possible to correct this with eye surgery, but it is a complicated operation, and that if I could live with it it should not cause a problem in normal situations, such as driving.
Now many of you may recall the childhood experience of "focusing" your eyes on a finger that you hold in front of you while "noticing" the image(s) of an object in the background, such as a tree. If you haven't tried it recently, do so, and you will experience a similar phenomenon.
And so, in Orteguian terminology, I was executively "seeing" simultaneously two lights, or two corridors, or two TV programs, both of them co-existing within the "radical reality" of "my life," and both of them "seen" from the single "point of view" of my "intimate I." All of this "occurred" before any "interpretation" of the experience.
A scientist who observed me looking at the light, or down the corridor, or at the TV program, might say that "objectively" there was only one "real" light or corridor or TV program, and that what I was experiencing was an "optical illusion," caused by the two separate "points of view" generated by each eye, but his explanation would not change the "reality" of my experience. [One type of question I would like to ask the scientist is whether s/he would say that I was experiencing a "real" optical illusion or an "imaginary" one! Another question would be which one of the images is the "real" one.]
Although I have not yet traced out any other philosophical implications of my experience, I present it to you for your "re-view" and will report any further "in-sights" I have about it as they "oc-cur" to me.
In the next thread, I will "focus" on Ortega's Doctrine of "Point of View"