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Nature of Human Perception

Nature of Human Perception

Critically evaluating what has been written about the nature of human perception, it is clear that there are a number of debates about the impact and influence of perception that still remain even despite marked advances in human understanding and technology. Chief among these debates is whether or not the individual has any innate sense at birth or if the whole of human development is shaped predominantly by the natural environment. This question, which appears to be one of the most fundamental dichotomies of understanding human perception, is the basis upon which any relevant discussion of the nature of human perception must begin. By commencing an examination of human nature at this point, it is possible to consider how cultures, subculture and alternative "realities" can exist at the same place in time.

Evaluating what scholars have written on the topic of nature versus nurture in the development of human perception, it becomes quite obvious that while many authors have attempted to separate the two factors into the following:

  1. Specific behaviors and actions derive from innate knowledge
  2. Behaviors and actions that derive solely from the individual's interaction with his or her surroundings

The reality is that, by virtue of what has been written on the subject, it appears as if the issues of nature and nurture cannot be separated from one another. For instance Gibson, in his assessment of innate versus perceptual knowledge notes that, "The perceptual capacities of the newborn, animal or human, for getting information become a matter for investigation, The relative proportions of the unlearned and the learned in perception might be expected to depend on the degree of maturity of the infant at birth, which in turn depends on his species and on the kind of environment the young of his specific have been confronted with during evolution". What this effectively suggests is that the environment of evolution will be integrally linked to the innate knowledge with which the individual is born. By this rationale then, the most rudimentary foundation of nature is based on a past history of nurture that has in some way been ingrained into the genetic spectrum of the individual.

The process of integrating the natural with the environment through the process of evolution sounds quite odd at first. The central question that arises is how can this process occur? However, extrapolating the argument that Percy makes with regard to the conscious process of perception, the idea that certain aspects of nature can be ingrained in the context of heredity does not seem that odd. In order to illustrate this point, one must first consider Percy's argument and then extrapolate it so that meaning for the nature versus nurture dichotomy can be garnered.

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