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Perception and Reality

...which leads us to the new definition of knowledge as a belief that is both reliably generated and true.

Our senses tell us about the world but to what extent are they reliable? One witness may perceive the weather to be hot, but another witness may consider it to be quite cold.

Perception of colour may be similarly affected, as the reader may demonstrate by staring at a piece of brightly-coloured paper. When the paper is removed the reader may find that everything else appears to be a slightly different colour from normal.

We may conclude from this that, although we are sensing some intrinsic property of the object under examination, qualities such as colour and temperature are NOT intrinsic.

Henceforth we recommend that the reader consider them to be Secondary qualities. The quantity of caloric within the object that gives it this perceived temperature truly is intrinsic to the object, so this may be considered a Primary quality.

In the following chapter we will examine the implications of this distinction for the study of natural philosophy.

Certainty and Assumption

In this chapter we aim to examine the extent to which our senses give us a reliable impression of the world in which we live.

Although we may believe that we are seeing and hearing things that exist, we may be deceived by our senses, as every keen drinker will have experienced! But if our senses may be deceived, what can we trust?

We may perhaps try to rely only on logical deductions and mathematical principles. Yet it is even possible that some fiend may have confused our minds to the extent that we are making false deductions without being aware of this.

We therefore present the following statement as the only piece of knowledge about which we cannot possibly be deceived:

Although all information gained through use of our senses and minds may be distorted, no self-aware being can be led to believe that it does not exist. It may not be the man or woman it believes itself to be, but it can never question its own existence in some form.

In the following chapter we will discuss ways in which one may attempt to demonstrate the existence of a world outside of one's own consciousness.

Graphical Solution of Mathematical Problems

A simple graph containing an x-axis and a y-axis may be used to represent equations similar to the following:
x + 3y = 5

For every 'x' and 'y' that satisfy the equation )such as x = 2, y = 1 or x = 5, y = 0 for the above example), the points 'x,y' may be plotted on the graph, and it will be found that they form a line.

If a second equation of this form is plotted on the same graph, the two lines may cross at some point.

Any point where the two lines cross will be given by some 'x' and 'y' that fits both equations.

Readers are invited to create two such equations and try it out for themselves!

Reader's Comments

This page left blank for readers' comments

... better now, walls look decent, nice and elegant. Those new lanterns were a rip-off, blasted dwarf craftsmen. Still not a problem for me!

Even my old Saradomin armour gilded, beautiful gold edges on it now. no-one else's going to have armour like that that'll make them think, heh heh heh...

Lick of gold-leaf here and there, even my globe looks smarter now, maybe that bath screen was a bit much? No, I saw it, I wanted it, it's mine. Vidi, volui, mihi est!

Still don't know what that 'thing' is, but it looks nice on my desk. Probably some kind of transport? Must run off hot air or dragon flatulence?

Running a bit short of runes now. Those wizards over to the south always seem to have plenty, but will they spare me some? Bah! Not a chance, poxy mage scum!

Perhaps another little expedition is needed - they all look pretty weedy over there...

Item Name: Strange BookZybez RuneScape Help's Book Image
Author: Myst

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