Redefining perception



The ancient Charvaka claimed that (sense) perception is the sole valid means to truth.1


The New Oxford Dictionary defines perception as: ‘the ability to see, hear, etc, become aware of something through the senses.’2


However, modern science has demonstrated that the ‘senses’ serve as selective and limited data receiving devices. For that reason, reception (formerly called perception3) is incomplete and biased, hence cannot serve as ‘valid means to truth’.4


Moreover, the data processing carried out by the brain5 and which produces analogue awareness quanta6 is selective and programming dependent.7


Hence an observer’s awareness of the outcome of his/her limited and selective data processing, i.e. a personal, user friendly (analogue) icon, and limited and selected data acquisition can best be described as anecdotal.8 Consequently an observer’s (or receiver’s) awareness moment/icon is not valid9 truth. In other words, data reception does not represent a data emitter’s true (indeed whole) state.10


It follows that the ancient Charvaka’s claim that perception alone is a valid means to truth is not true.11



All of which begs the question: How is true/truth defined?’






© 2022 by Victor Langheld









1.     The non-relativised word/noun ‘truth’ describes a meaningless concept. With regard to an interaction one can only state: true (real, undeniable) or less than true. The notion of untrue/false, like all negatives, is thinkable but unrealistic.          more …..

2.     The NOD’s vague and naïve definition of perception might be more usefully updated to the 21st century with the notion of ‘the procedure of data accessing’. Once this is done the sheer complexity of the dynamic perception procedure becomes apparent.

3.     A cognisable perception consists of two elements. The first is one-end data (hence percept) contact that generates an isness (i.e. realness) moment because happening in a relativity vacuum. The second is the affect of a series of contacts which when repeating or reverberating (like a string) becomes identifiable, indeed cognizable. Since each individual contact (of a series or string) creates an isness moment, the entire series or string, cognised as an identified unit or quantum, is carried on a realness ground. This leads to the false experience that (actually discrete moments of) realness (Sanskrit: sat) happens as a constant (or universal). Idem (the discrete moments of) consciousness (Sanskrit: cit), i.e. as the coming together of knowledge bits/moments).

4.     Because relative, hence uncertain, hence unreliable. (Not more than possibly, later probably true = sufficient) Perceptions are by and large acted upon as true in order to generate immediate responses required for survival. In other words, a perception (i.e. a percept series become realist concept) is taken as true if it increases survival capacity.

5.     The brain serves as biological navigation system (short: Bio-Nav), initially as auto-pilot but with increasing complexity emerging de-automized, i.e. with hands-on capability.

6.     i.e. user friendly iconised data compressions.

7.     i.e. processing is relative and selective, hence incomplete, hence uncertain.

8.     Hence the awesome nonsense produced by the Indian Brahmin scholiast, Adi Shankara, when he claimed: “True because written!”

9.     Because not absolute. In other words, the individual contacts are true but the message of the contact series is dodgy = uncertain.

10.   Moreover, because the data emitter, i.e. the truth source, emits only selected and limited data.

11.   In this regard see also Jayāraśi’s Tattvôpaplavasimha (AD 740 - 800).