Nature Of Perception

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When thinking about the mental acts of perception, it is important to investigate its structures philosophically so as to gain an understanding of how humans cognize reality. Fortunately, there have been numerous thinkers who have conducted inquires on the mind; one of them was a Buddhist philosopher by the name of Vasubandhu who explains the process of perception from his account of the three natures. His school of thought was called Yogacara, which uses these three natures as a means of explaining how the mind constructs reality and the relation between subject and the object of investigation. Another name worth mentioning is the English philosopher John Locke who contributed to the foundation of empiricism by his famous distinction of primary…show more content…
When looking at the red cup on the desk, its shape, which is its primary quality, produces the idea in my mind of what it form it takes. Essentially, the basic idea is that the primary qualities produce corresponding ideas in the mind. My mind constructs reality around the primary qualities that objects have, which allows me to recognize the objects I perceive. Similarly, when I go to grab the red cup with my hand, I can feel its temperature and see its color. These are the secondary qualities of the object; they allow me to talk about the object by virtue of its primary qualities. However, the secondary qualities are not in the objects themselves, they are only sensations produced from the object into my mind but do not objectively correspond to reality. That is to say, the color of the cup is not actually existent in the objects itself, but only in my mind. As the article “Locke on Primary” states, “The secondary qualities of objects produce ideas in our minds that do not resemble the corresponding qualities in the objects that produced those ideas in our minds” (Locke on Primary par. 6). This quote helps explain the nature of secondary qualities as they have the ability to produce ideas in the mind of the perceiver, but with ideas that actually don’t correspond to the qualities of the object. Consequently, I believe this is a shortcoming of…show more content…
Vasubandhu is in some way an idealist that believes nothing exists but the mind. This fact can be contrasted with Locke’s notion of perception because Locke believes in the existence of the objects of reality. Consequently, these differences are helpful for understanding reality because it sheds light on the nature of consciousness. The mind in both accounts of perception is active and cognizing the many properties of reality, which grants insight about how the mind comes to an understanding of a particular object. That is, the object of perception becomes understood through the means of the mind processing properties in such a way where the thinker recognizes the object as it appears to the mind. Henceforth, one can use Vasubandhu’s ideas as means of seeing the possibility of objects existing in the mind or use Locke’s empiricism to deconstruct the properties of objects to gain knowledge about the process of cognition. In Locke’s view, the properties of objects interact with the mind by producing ideas into it. Additionally, consciousness makes use of this information by synthesizing all the corresponding ideas to an object and creates an informed decision of recognition. The secondary qualities help make sense of the primary qualities in regard to its color and temperature, which makes sense because without these secondary qualities, the characteristics one sees
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