Take home test, Due 5/4
1. View the movie trailer for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth” What ways of knowing are employed? What senses? To what extent does this video use our senses to persuade the audience and how might they be misleading and/or manipulative?
2. In what ways does the biological constitution of a living organism determine, influence or limit its sense perception? If humans are sensitive only to certain ranges of stimuli, what consequences or limitations might this have for the acquisition of knowledge? How does technology extend, modify, improve or restrict the capabilities of the senses?
3. What possibilities for knowledge are opened to us by our senses as they are? What limitations?
4. Is the nature of sense perception such that, as Huxley suggests, sensations are essentially private and incommunicable?
“By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude. Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies—all these are private and, except through symbols and at second hand, incommunicable. “
Aldous Huxley (1954)
5. How, and to what extent, might expectations, assumptions and beliefs affect sense perceptions? How, if at all, can factors that bias our views of the world be identified? Is all sense perception necessarily theory-laden? Do knowers have a moral duty to examine their own perceptual filters?