Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

natmackow's picture

The Brain and Reality

On one hand, I think it is very accurate to declare everything a construction of the brain. What would the sky, the trees, the world be to an organism if they could not ascribe to it some sort of meaning? What would the people around us be if we were unable to create a visual image of them, communicate with them, try to understand them? The world and the objects, organisms and the plethora of potential ideas we form with regards to these would be nothing if we were unable to define, identify, and interpret them.

On the other hand, if a tree falls and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes. If we were unable to perceive or construct the world around us, it wouldn’t mean that the world and everything within does not exist. An earthworm has a very simple nervous system and cannot perceive the world in the way that we do. Thus, an earthworm’s brain or cerebral ganglion would not be able to contain the sky, as Emily Dickenson stated the human brain can.

Thursday’s class got me thinking about this. While I know that everything around us is really there, whether our brains have the ability to construct it or not, the way in which each individual perceives the world around them is different. Our brains truly do determine the objects around us and how we make sense of them. This is especially relevant to individuals with, for example, autism or psychological disorders, who comprehend objects, actions, and surroundings in a way that is drastically different from a majority of individuals. So now I have a question for everyone else. What is reality? How do we know that what our brains construct is actually true?

 

Reply

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
2 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.