Veruska M. B. November 18, 2011 TOK Mr. de Silva Grade 11 OSC TOK Essay: How do Perception and Emotion Contribute to our Knowledge of the World? Perception is broad concept, often defined through various contexts. Similarly, emotion has assorted definitions. These concepts differ in their timing in the world, for without the initial perception, emotion is a non-existent concept. And without such commodities our knowledge of the world would cease to exist. For our perception and emotion influences the other ways of knowing (WOK) immensely such as reason and language.
Perception is how we perceive our surroundings, and the world. It’s often defined in 5 stages: The sensing process, integration, analysis, reaction and decision-making. However, emotion comes into play in the analysis, the reaction and the decision-making. The sensing process happens in one of five ways: with our five senses of sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing (Thinking positive). Integration is what is “filtered in and what is filtered out”. After this filtering you become aware of the environment and you explore/interpret the vicinity to give meaning and context differing on individuality.
Then, we are convinced that if we can hear it, see it, smell it, taste it, feel it- it must be true. This is a common notion of a way of “knowing” something. Nonetheless, perception is key in its contribution towards our knowledge of the world. Considering that perception is the “supporting” evidence we obtain to identify with things around us, to categorize morals/ideas and to contribute towards our reactions on those morals/ideas. The reaction of perception interlinks with the abstraction of emotion.
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Emotion is defined as “a mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes” (Define: Emotion). There are 6 basic emotions that all emotions fall under: happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, disgust, and fear. These emotions affect our knowledge of the world, as it taints our perception. Giving our knowledge obscurity. Such obscurities in knowledge are evident in various areas of knowledge (AOK) when emotion and perception intervene.
A major AOK emotion and perception impact is the Arts. Visual Art is an IB subject that can alter our knowledge and ideas. As an aspiring IB artist, I’m emotional with my art. I use color and texture to communicate broad ideas. When I was painting my expressionism self-portrait, I couldn’t find the right colors to develop, and found myself frustrated. This emotion drove me to shut the judgment of others out, raise my heartbeat; gather paints and a palette knife and paint my frustration. Before I knew it, I had created a piece.
Now I understood something new: That great artists don’t paint by assignment, the art is a spontaneous work that is triggered by an emotion brought on by perception, whether that is perception of doing something wrong which leads to a primary emotion, or perceiving a landscape which triggers an emotion that is then integrated into an art piece. Another contribution to my knowledge based on perception and emotion was a personal experience I had 6 years ago on December 9th. It was the day my friend Simon died. I was sitting at the dinner table when my parents received a call from Simon’s mother.
My parents told me that Simon had been in a car crash with a drunk driver; they had hit a passing car on the way home from a party. I was listening to them communicate this clearly, trying to comprehend what they were saying, but my emotions kicked in. My initial response was anger, yelling at my mother that she was wrong, that what she was telling me was a lie, that Monday I’d walk from the bus stop with him. My emotion of sadness, led me to believe that my mother must be lying to me, because the sadness and anger obscured the truth. I was so absorbed in emotion and denial.
On Monday, I waited at the bus stop and missed two of my classes. My judgment was so clouded; I simply rejected my perception, my knowledge, because of my strong emotion. Because of all the happiness Simon brought me, I could not let him go. Having it been so long ago now, I have a different emotional response whenever Simon is brought up. The emotion of sadness is still there, but it does not cloud the knowledge I gained from the experience of the loss. In conclusion, perception and emotion contribute to our knowledge of the world, in both its filtering of knowledge, and its positive reaction.
Emotion and perception can both suppress knowledge not wanting to be obtained in a moment of strong emotion. But it can also be a strong positive influence in an area of creativity and individuality. The examples of art class and the death of Simon both exemplify such occurrences in my knowledge of the world. Works Cited Brennan, Samantha. “Thinking Positive”. Perception and Intuition, a life long challenge. http://www. positive-thinking-principles. com/definition-of-perception. html “Definition of Emotion”. Answers. Com. http://www. answers. com/topic/emotion | |
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