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Naive Realism - short essay

Uploaded by steedxpeel on Feb 13, 2002

Naive realism is just a way of looking at the world. Also called common sense realism, things are perceived directly as they are. True naive realists would never sum up or analyze their views, because they do not consider them views but the way things obviously are. However, I will do my best to illuminate them:

"I, the naive realist, am a human being. There is the physical world, the space where everything exists and the time in which everything happens. There are many things in this physical world, each largely separate from the other and persisting over a span of time. Time is divided into 'now,' which is real and experienced, 'the past,' which once existed but now does not, and 'the future,' which does not exist yet but will.

"My senses give me direct knowledge of reality. If I see a chair, it is because there is a chair physically where and when I see it. There are exceptions, such as when I am dreaming or watching a movie, but these are rare and obviously not real.

"I can know things through my senses, through thinking about things, and through communication with other people. Other people's beliefs may be correct or not, but beliefs of people I respect, and beliefs held commonly by most people in my society, are usually true."

Science used to support naïve realism to a certain point, that is to say, things being what they seem was the easiest, and the only answer in the not-so-distant past. However, eventually classical science broke away from naïve realism in a major way. Scientists drew a line in the sand between “objective reality” and “subjective perception.” All of a sudden, the grass wasn’t really green and the sky wasn’t blue, in fact, they had no color at all. Color became the interaction between light, the object, and the human eye. For example, if I’m looking at a red rose, science says that the light from the sun hits the flower, which both absorbs and reflects the light. A small portion of that reflected light hits the human eye, which puts aside most of it and instead focuses on an even smaller portion that we call visible light. It then ignores most of the visible light and focuses again on a smaller, stronger portion, which my eye would translate as the color red.

Science, therefore, gave birth to a...

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Uploaded by:   steedxpeel

Date:   02/13/2002

Category:   Miscellaneous

Length:   2 pages (450 words)

Views:   2753

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