Do we perceive reality directly through our senses? is it possible the reality that we experience is different to the one in which we actually exist?

Essay by rybabyUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2003

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The Deception of


What we experience directly is a virtual- reality rendering, conveniently generated for us by our unconscious minds from sensory data plus complex inborn and acquired theories (i.e. programs) about how to interpret them.

Deutsch, 1998, pp120

How can we be sure that our perceptions of reality are consistent with the reality in which we exist? Is there a way to validate these perceptions? Could it be possible that we are undermined in our search for truth, if we do not accept that it will exist in a reality outside that which we perceive directly? These questions arise from the debate as to whether the reality we experience is absolute or is in-fact a virtual- reality rendering as described above by Deutsch. In the following paragraphs I will attempt to provide a definition of virtual reality that includes the experiences we have through our every-day lives, and thus, provide a platform for an argument that questions the basic assumptions made by theorists and scientists and alike, in the quest for ultimate knowledge of truth or existence.

What is virtual reality?

·Virtual reality as described by Deutsch is "any situation in which a person is artificially given the experience of being in a specific environment"(1998, pp98). By experience I will defer to mean the internal perceptions of external forces and am not questioning the internal thought processes, which I equate with human autonomy.

·Deutsch explains that a virtual-reality generator is primarily about creating an external experience, that is, outside the human mind. Internal experiences (e.g. emotions, thoughts) can be experienced as an indirect cause of external forces but are not an implicit result (1998, pp104). Internal experiences, I believe, are the foundations of human autonomy and why individuality is apparent even though experience of external forces may be...