The flow of Perception: DNicholson
“It is indeed an opinion strangely prevailing amongst men, that houses, mountains, rivers, and in a word all sensible objects, have an existence, natural or real, distinct from their being perceived by the understanding.” – from George Berkeley’s A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
Reading the philosophers Locke, Hume, and Berkeley I was astounded by the thoughts of how we are, who we are, what we are and if we are here. I felt there was a lot to work with involving the eyes and how things are perceived by us and others. While there was much I could do with eyes for this project I felt there was more than just what our eyes saw. I felt it was really interesting in how Berkeley felt, and others have as well, that houses, mountains, rivers and any other sensible objects have an existence beyond our perceived understanding. I feel that really says something that as a philosopher Berkeley bases much on how something is perceived on how it is seen. I took this photo with the quote above in mind. The river, rocks, grass, leaves, trees and all else are present. All those things exist and are there. While I did see these objects and perceive and understand them to exist if following Berkeley’s thought then they would have existed without me perceiving them. I wanted to capture as much as I could to try and get the sense that each thing present in the photo exists even if we do not see it, such as with a tree falling in the woods. Would the river not exist had I not been there? And then what about the photograph I took of the scene? Would others perceive and see the same scene I saw? Philosophers bring questions such as these into light and this shows us how hard it is to understand the extent of what we can perceive.