Dissertation, University of Sussex (2015)

Authors
Dawood Yusuf Parpia Parpia
University of Sussex
Abstract
Western science claims to provide unique, objective information about the world. This is supported by the observation that peoples across cultures will agree upon a common description of the physical world. Further, the use of scientific instruments and mathematics is claimed to enable the objectification of science. In this work, carried out by reviewing the scientific literature, the above claims are disputed systematically by evaluating the definition of physical reality and the scientific method, showing that empiricism relies ultimately upon the human senses for the evaluation of scientific theories and that measuring instruments cannot replace the human sensory system. Nativist and constructivist theories of human sensory development are reviewed, and it is shown that nativist claims of core conceptual knowledge cannot be supported by the findings in the literature, which shows that perception does not simply arise from a process of maturation. Instead, sensory function requires a long process of learning through interactions with the environment. To more rigorously define physical reality and systematically evaluate the stability of perception, and thus the basis of empiricism, the development of the method of dimension analysis is reviewed. It is shown that this methodology, relied upon for the mathematical analysis of physical quantities, is itself based upon empiricism, and that all of physical reality can be described in terms of the three fundamental dimensions of mass, length and time. Hereafter the sensory modalities that inform us about these three dimensions are systematically evaluated. The following careful analysis of neuronal plasticity in these modalities shows that all the relevant senses acquire from the environment the capacity to apprehend physical reality. It is concluded that physical reality is acquired rather than given innately, and leads to the position that science cannot provide unique results. Rather, those it can provide are sufficient for a particular environmental setting.
Keywords physical reality  developmental neurophysiology  sensory perception  constructivism and brain development  empiricism  time in science  circadian rhythms  speech perception  origin of meaning  motor reflexes and free will
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Attention and Mental Paint1.Ned Block - 2010 - Philosophical Issues 20 (1):23-63.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Neurological Dynamics of the Imagination.John Kaag - 2008 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (2):183-204.
A Neural Plasticity Perspective on the Schizophrenic Condition.Yossi Guterman - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2):400-420.
Neural Plasticity and Consciousness.Susan Hurley & Alva Noë - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (1):131-168.
Are Plants Rational?Elias L. Khalil - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (1):53-66.
Extending, Changing, and Explaining the Brain.Mazviita Chirimuuta - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):613-638.
The Mind-Body and the Light-Matter.Marj Jibu - 2002 - In Kunio Yasue, Marj Jibu & Tarcisio Della Senta (eds.), No Matter, Never Mind. John Benjamins. pp. 33--13.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-12-09

Total views
342 ( #27,598 of 2,462,067 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
58 ( #14,313 of 2,462,067 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes