Thursday, September 26, 2013

Phenomenology Never Goes Out Of date - 3:AM Magazine

"On the other hand, there is another side of the issue. If I look angry to you, it would be completely understandable if you ended up believing on the basis of how I look that I am angry. After all, believing your eyes is normally a reasonable thing to do. What else are you supposed to believe, if you have no contravening information? And so we have a philosophical problem. The challenge is to negotiate between the idea that perception is a rational guide to belief when you don’t have any explicit reason to doubt it, and the apparently absurd conclusion that your fear-induced or prejudice-induced experiences could rationally support the very fears and prejudices that give rise to them.

"Writ large, this problem is an instance case of a type of situation that pretty much everyone has encountered. If someone is repeatedly mean to you but has no idea he is acting that way, then does he have a reason to stop? Yes, because he’s being mean to you. But No, because he has no idea what he is doing.

"If Jack looks angry to Jill, but only because she fears he is mad at her, should she believe he’s angry? Yes, because that’s how he looks to her. But No, because his looking that way is not the form of perceptual openness to the world that it seems to be."

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