Realism refers to the attempts to depict reality based on different observers’ perspectives. In this regard, there are multiple means through which reality can be derived guided by the intuition and consciousness of an individual (Gram 4). Some of the theories that explain what realism are include the direct and indirect realism hypotheses. However, there are other philosophical theories that have been developed by multiple observers on the means through which the external world can be derived.
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Direct realism refers to the perception that our senses relay to our brains on how the surrounding world is constructed. Essentially, the theory demonstrates the fact that the responses of our senses are exactly what we experience. For instance, the theory emphasizes that what we see is solely what is there. At the same time, it presumes that the world around us is perceived in the same manner as it is observed.
The degree of directness represented by direct realism is high since it depicts the observation based on the interpretations of our minds. Although consciousness cannot be used to distinguish reality from fantasy, the nature of perception derived from our consciousness is paramount.
Similarly, our minds guide us to counter exactly what we may perceive through our normal observation. Therefore, direct realism portrays a sense of how reality can be described with respect to human understanding. Nevertheless, there are instances when the perceptions of how reality is, from our consciousness, fail the actual outcome.
Direct realism seeks to establish the reality of different concepts, ideas, and things based on perceptual knowledge. Through the sensory responses, it is possible to describe the various circumstances that reflect the truth about the world around us. The material objects present within the surrounding describe the reality.
Therefore, statements that are formulated concerning these objects can be considered true since they are actually experienced. At the same time, the existence of material objects is true regardless of whether there is any perception or not about the same subject.
This implies that the perception of material objects through sense-experience is free of bias and not guided by fantasy. Meanwhile, the properties contained by the material objects will always describe their features and purpose for existence without basing on the notion of perception-oriented concepts. Consequently, this implies that material objects exist in our minds based on independent perceptions.
The perceptions that influence the validity of the direct realism theory have a great impact on understanding the reality. Some of these perceptions include visual and speech perceptions. Through the information that is relayed from the material object to the mind through sensory nerves, one can identify the unique features of varying objects. As a result, the perception made will be ideal to describe the way situations are based on one’s observation.
Similarly, it is possible to get some important information through the concepts and ideas that are illustrated to us through speech. The case of visual perception can be derived from the color, shape, and the size of an object. The features enable us to describe issues that surround us in spite of lack of perception. For instance, a ripe orange can always be established through our senses through its features. As a result, it is essential to consider direct realist arguments since there is no mediation between features and sense-experience.
The adoption of direct realism to describe the world around us has been subjected to multiple contentions. Since this theory was initially formulated to describe the reality, there was a lack of consideration of the critical values that affect human judgment. Most philosophers have termed it as the average person theory due to lack of critical consideration of philosophical concepts.
In this case, the reliance on senses subjects the theory of weakness of senses. This implies that senses are not consistent, and alternative approaches should be adopted to support the validity of senses. For that reason, direct realism does not fully address the critical issues covered in philosophical reasoning about reality.
An important element that could interfere with the sense-experience is a hallucination and illusion. In such circumstances where illusion prevails, it is not possible to represent the validity of the sense-experience interpretation about reality. For example, it is possible to describe a straight pen that has been placed in water as being bent through the observation made.
In this regard, reality based on senses would not be valid but contradict the real experience that is witnessed within the surrounding environment. Such scenarios downplay the concepts illustrated by the direct realism since it is exposed to distortion at the initial stage of perceptions before the objectivity stage.
The utilization of the direct realism exposes one to vagueness since its concepts are based on the virtues that make up material objects. At the same time, hallucinations can expose an individual to perceive that things within one’s mind are valid. Consequently, one can realize that direct realism fails to depict reality since sense data retrieved from dreams do not depict the actual reality. In such a situation, direct realists could defend oneself by demonstrating the existence of genuine perceptions.
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For instance, the presence of images and information that we experience through dreams could be considered as valid under direct realism. Regardless of the nature of such attributes of reality, direct realism considers such information valid since it is retrieved through sense-experience. Therefore, direct realism gives a false impression of how situations can be categorized without exposing individuals to conflicts.
Direct realists refute the presence of mental images, which can be issued to describe material objects. For that reason, it can be illustrated that mental images can be formed with ease which depicts the situations that are present or not. Consequently, the occurrence of such experience makes the theory fallible by the use of senses.
Although, it is critical to establish the degree to which senses are functional and times when their perceptions are false, the challenges vulnerable to direct realism can be overcome. In this regard, other factors may distort the reality such as imaginations apart from mental images. Such a situation may occur since imaginations are experienced when individuals are sensible and conscious. However, their mental experience is not the real issues that are experienced in the normal world.
Descartes, one of the best philosophers, criticized the validity of the direct realism through the biases of dreams and imaginations (Pols 56). In his arguments, Descartes present the doubt that exists when one is observing object’s existence.
In such a scenario, it is difficult to realize when an individual is dreaming or not, and for that reason, it is impossible to identify whether what we observe is true or not. In addition, he described that direct realism is not valid since what is perceived could be controlled by virtual perception influenced by the evil being.
This implies that whatever is perceived has no relationship with the external world. Furthermore, such experience demonstrates that there is not truth about any issue that can be based on perceptions. Such a situation occurs since our brains operate independently without the influence of the sensory nerves that relay information. As a result, it indicates that sensory nerves kindle the mind to develop illusions concerning reality. Although his concept is absurd, it is extremely difficult to refute its validity.
The process of assessing direct realism seems contradictory to any philosophical reasoning. However, it is critical to realize that the theory is simple and least problematic unlike other theories of realism. In addition, the theory is practical, sensible, and appropriate for most people who value the information presented by the senses.
In this case, senses guide the manner we behave and observe issues in life. Consequently, it implies that the perceptions develop based on its sensibility and background information on the interested subjected will reveal the truth about the issue. These issues contradict the reasoning of philosophers since their minds are based on the notion of demolishing the known truth to construct the ideal truth.
In conclusion, the theory of direct realism covers sensible issues through which reality can be understood. This is attributed to the common and actual features of the material objects that can be sense-perceived available in the surrounding world (Neil 34). Although, there are instances where the validity of such perceptions is misleading, it is essential to establish the genuineness of any statement. This implies that the theories develop to counter the concept are valid to some degree, but also misleading in case they totally considered.
Gram, Moltke S. Direct realism: a study of perception. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1983. Print.
Neil, Brian E. Epistemological direct realism in Descartes’ philosophy. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1974. Print.
Pols, Edward. Radical realism: direct knowing in science and philosophy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992. Print.