Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


I Found A Writing Prompt Instead Of A Woman Philosopher

“We perceive to learn, as well as learn to perceive.”

Eleanor J. Gibson, a philosopher (wow) psychologist

http://beknownforsomething.com/wp-content/uploads/senses.jpgEverything that can be noticed and noted with any sense is knowledge at its barest. This way, the presumption that both human and non-human living beings are capable of knowing becomes true, and the possibility of a universal language becomes true. Although much of knowledge exists through past experience, all potentially “known” things are rooted in what is originally sensed.

I’ll use an example to create a syllogism:

  • This (knowledge) is perceived by the ears as being a certain object.
  • The known object is believed, formed in the mind, because it was perceived aurally.
  • Knowledge is a belief derived from sensory perception.

!!! *a eureka moment ensued here*


As I was writing this post and researching Eleanor Gibson, it made me think to eliminate my previously constructed preparation and conjure up another scenario, based on my recent false belief. This is very much a spur-of-the-moment action for me, but I am really interested to see where it will take me, so if my thoughts seem disorganized, keep in mind I am still thinking them as I press the Publish button. If they are impossible to discern, please let me know if the flow is too jarring:

I got really excited around 90 seconds prior to starting this paragraph, because as I inserted that quote into my post (it’s not even where I’d like to put it, but I’ll leave it there for effect), I concluded, after an extremely brief time period, that Gibson was a woman philosopher. Let’s see the premises that zapped through my brain, after I copy pasted her quote:

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.07.25 PM



  • I read with my eyes, on my philosophy midterm blog post draft, that Eleanor J. Gibson said “we perceive … learn to perceive”, which applies to my philosophy midterm.
  • I believed it to be known because my eyes saw it.
  • I believed that Gibson was a philosopher due to my perception of her quote (words and location).

Since It is retained both consciously (in a classroom setting, students are constantly thinking about what knowledge they are being given, what they have to know for that midterm assignment) and subconsciously (we do not realize or often pay much attention to what we notice if it does not have a significant effect on us – see info on hardwired human traits). The example above of recent thought process in my brain proves how perceptual knowledge is what happens most often in all of our minuscule thought-windows, and is therefore the most relevant for life and survival.


4 Responses to I Found A Writing Prompt Instead Of A Woman Philosopher

  1. kelseyf says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog post. I think that you related perception to knowledge well. You used a strong quote from Eleanor J. Gibson, but what was her area of study? How does she contribute to your post besides providing a quote?
    You mentioned sight several times in your post, a sense that strongly influences our perception. If that was impaired, how would our perception be affected? And how do you think our other senses contribute to perception?

  2. alyssa says:

    Your blog was very well written and interesting. It is quite hard for me to show disbelief in your post since I believe in what you are saying.
    However I do see that perception is a big factor in this, how could you expand on the use of others perceptions? How about people whom are blind and deaf? If they can not hear or see, how would that affect the knowledge that they achieve?
    (As I writing this I see Kelsey has asked the same questions as me.)

  3. sassidy says:

    Eleanor Gibson was a psychologist who contributed to my research upon her conclusion that perceptual knowledge was based on differentiation. This was based on an experiment of hers called the “Visual Cliff”. Young children would be put on the edge of the cliff (a table), and even when their mothers calmly persuaded, they would not go off the edge of the “cliff” (a transparent glass extension of the table), because they could see with their eyes and then perceive that they would fall down. I knew I had to mention/cite her when I learned that other animals were reacting in the same way when they were put through her experiment!

    If all humans had impaired sight, I believe another sense, such as hearing, would be valued as more useful. We tend to peg sight as being the most “telling” sense for getting true facts (pics or it didn’t happen). The initial perception is obtained by a sense, but all the perception clockwork happens in the mind. So, as long as we have minds for perceiving, it does not matter with what specific sense we get the knowledge.

    You inspired me to edit the caption on the creepy senses picture to include a brief clarification.

  4. sassidy says:

    ^ That was in response to Kelsey and Alyssa


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *