Sensory Perception

Like all animals, human beings receive pertinent information about the
world through sensory perception: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and
tasting. This raw data is then analyzed and interpreted by the brain, and
thus conceptions of the universe are formed. Most of our definitions and
judgments about reality are dependent upon sensation and perception. In
fact, science is largely based on sensory data, and science greatly informs
our definitions of reality. Moreover, our definition of reality can be
distorted by our senses and perceptions. For example, optical illusions
create erroneous pictures. Depending on the reliability of our sense
organs, the definition of reality can differ from person to person.
For the most part, however, human beings share a vision of reality
because of the uniformity of sensory data. We agree that the sky is blue,
leaves are green, and lemons are sour. Furthermore, we make judgments based
on sensations and perceptions. A foul smell will warn us that food has gone
bad, for instance. An angry face can inform us of the emotional state of
another human being, and often prompts us to react accordingly. Those who
are deprived of one or more of the senses, such as the blind or the deaf,
will perceive reality differently. A blind person, for example, will base
reality on hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting, in the absence of
Most people distinguish reality from fantasy by relying on sensation
and perception. That which cannot be seen, touched, heard, smelled, or
tasted exists in the realm of the imagination. Reality, therefore, becomes
that which is reliably and consistently perceived by the senses. We know
that tables are hard and jackhammers are loud because our senses tell us
so; likewise, we know that leprechauns do not exist because we have never
Aesthetics are also based on sensation and perception. Some people

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