The Philosophers' Delusion That Peceptions Are Illusions

Robert Howard Kroepel
Copyright © 2001
Lakeside Studios
20 South Shore Road
New Durham, New Hampshire USA 03855-2107

We need to get rid of the philosophers' delusion that our perceptions are always illusions.

I have been puzzled to observe that philosophers constantly harp the theme that we cannot trust our perceptions, that our perceptions are illusions, that the people/things/events we see/hear/touch/smell/taste are not real, or only as real as we convince ourselves they are, etc.

Such perception = illusion philosophers often lapse into mysticism/mythology for an attempt to perceive intuitively reality, but the problem of reality is perceiving it in actuality, of confirming/denying the hypotheses of reality our intuitions provide us, and perceiving reality in actuality requires us to ..., guess what?!?!? ... use our perceptual senses of sight/hearing/touch/smell/taste!!!!

Religionists as philosophers naturally tend towards asserting that mysticism/mythology (defined as the belief in people/things/events who/which cannot be perceived by the perceptual senses of sight/hearing/touch/smell/taste and thus cannot be verified or falsified) is the ONLY way to perceive/understand reality, which is nonsense.

For millions of years humans as well as other animals have relied upon perceptions for obtaining information concerning the real world, the external world. Perceptions have thus had for a long time the recognition of high probability of truth and accuracy.

While illusions exist, we can more often than not use our perceptions to determine if or not what we perceive is really what we perceive, and it is only by our perceptions that we could even hope of determining if or not what we perceive is what we perceive.

To dwell excessively upon the possibility of perceptions being illusions is to reject the traditional/historical reality of the high accuracy and reliability of our perceptions.

If you want me to prove to you that I exist then I would simply take whatever actions I could that would enable you to perceive me with your senses of sight/hearing/touch/smell/taste (and, hopefully, not necessarily the senses of smell and taste). You had better know (not merely believe) that somehow I would find a way to cause your perceptual senses to be stimulated/activated by my personal physics/chemistry/biology/etc. and thus enable you to confirm my existence.

To prove I exist to myself, I can simply check out my personal physics/chemistry/biology/etc. which I can see/hear/touch/smell/taste and thereby confirm my existence.

As long as my perceptual senses are normal and working okay, then as I am able to perceive myself I can never be an illusion to myself.

Normality is a narrow range of specific physical/chemical/biological/etc. functions.

When an individual has abnormal physics/chemistry/biology/etc., then his normality is gone, and we often observe abnormal behavior as an indication of his abnormality. And although we cannot necessarily get inside his head to observe his inner thoughts and perceptions of himself, we can expect that he is most likely to have abnormal perceptions of and thoughts about himself as well as the people/things/events not himself.

But, nevertheless, when his normality is intact, an individual's perceptual senses are more than likely to be accurate and reliable and his perceptions therefore are not necessarily illusions.

In summary, our perceptions are more than likely to be accurate and therefore reliable sources of information about the people/things/events comprised of matter/energy which we can define as somethings.

It is time to assume that our perceptions of, for the most part, accurate and reliable, and that, therefore what we see/hear/touch/smell/taste are real and not necessarily philosophers' illusions.