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When Should We Trust Our Senses to Give Us the Truth?

Truth is one of the most subjective words around the world. Does truth exist? Is there one specific truth? We may argue that the truth for one man may not be for another; what may be considered correct in a culture or country may be different in any other. Our senses, which are the most important part of our lives, help us understand how life works and exists. Nevertheless, we still don’t fully understand or develop our senses to their maximum capacity. They provide us with important information, but we can only rely on this undeveloped data and analyze it in our own interpretation. In some real-life situations, these senses can prove to be lifesaving, and in others, they might prove to be fatal in a most serious fashion. We can get to an ironic circle where we can only rely on untrustworthy information, so how can we know what is actually the truth or when our own senses are playing with our minds. To understand truth, we need to understand our senses and how each of them work. This way, we will get closer to our senses’ limits and understand how and why we are confident with their perception of the truth.

  1. Senses: Topic Sentence: Throughout time, our senses have developed to help us work on grow and develop throughout our daily life to have a better understanding of life
  2. Senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch (definition and importance of each one of them in our growth and development)

What aspects of our life can we trust ourselves to understand the true reality of what we believe is happening? Explain the biological level of analysis and how senses react to different hormones and neurotransmitters that process information to the brain, making us certain that what is happening is the actual truth. Perception: (sight). Topic Sentence: Moreover, perception is a way in which our senses help us introduce and process information to grow cognitively socially and culturally

  • Eyes; apple falling from a tree saw it, smelled it, taste it. Put interpretation of the apple may be different than any other.
  • Objects can rarely be described without the use of sensory perceptions.
  • What we see is true: part of our culture.
  • Learned to recognize and see what wrongs are what is not.
  • Part of rules of society
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  •  Stimuli to perception; unclear vision light angle
  • Effects on perception interpretation: These interpretations can be affected by many different factors. Are we sleepy? Are we in a bad mood? Have we consumed any hallucinatory inducing products? Furthermore, different shapes and colours can distract our perception abilities, and we might see something that is really not there.
  • Loftus and Palmer description of Eye witness testimony ( describe how emotion affects perception)

Language: (hear)

3. Topic Sentence: Language has evolved, so we can communicate in our society to understand how our senses are used in a better way to inquire better knowledge

  • GIVES US KNOWLEDGE; our society communicates with the language
  • Language is created and open-ended ( technology revolution)
  • Animal dialogue; how it has helped throughout history in the evolution


  • meanings for words, and we are only able to arrive at some approximation of the meaning the other participant of communication is trying to convey to us
  • language, yet its specific definition is rather elusive
  • language cannot ultimately define what truth is

Reason: (processing data)

4. Topic Sentence: Our senses withhold information which helps us process and reason into our brain true knowledge or bad reasoning.

  • We can acquire knowledge about the world by processing the previous and new information used.
  • This information leads us to make decisions in life, which helps us grow and mature in the different stages of our life.
  • Assumptions: give us certainty and trust, which makes us involve every aspect of the senses where knowledge is acquired through; hearing seeing, touching smelling, and tasting
  • Ex: Education. Well, that involves learning, which can only be done through hearing or seeing or experiencing things that cannot be known without using our senses.
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  • Truth and validity: fallacies that involve reasoning
  • Example of a fallacy
  • Understand how important to construct and process different premises, both true or false, in order to not fool our brain with bad generalizations
  • Causes of different bad reasoning.


  • What would nature history and understand if it wasn’t for our senses?
  • We are not born with an innate understanding of the world.
  • We gain this understanding, and the only way is our senses.
  • By using the senses, we must trust them, and this is how we survive
  • “Seeing is believing” or “seeing is knowing”
  • Possible to be fooled by our senses because of their limitation
  • Maybe? Many things in our world that could change our lives completely forever
  • We live in a world that we have to trust our senses to tell us the truth.
  • Maybe it really is all just some false reality. But it is OUR reality. And our reality relies on our senses.

Essay Criteria

A: Understanding knowledge issues. Throughout this essay outline, I was able to fulfil the first criteria because it constantly refers to the senses, its reliability and its truth. The essay connects directly with its knowledge issue by clearly restating in every topic sentence the importance of our senses and the debate on why we should trust or not our senses. We can discuss different ways of knowing each with its counterclaim to process and understand how each way of knowing affects our senses and how we rely on them and trust them. The three paragraphs involve logical fallacies, inventions, examples from radio lab and case studies that show evidence to demonstrate the knowledge issue and the importance of our senses in our ways of knowing.

B: Knower’s perspective. The essay includes information from other courses such as psychology and the different levels of analysis in the biological, cognitive and socio-cultural levels of analysis. It can be connected in the process of TOK understanding. Questioning myself throughout the essay and evaluating with pros and cons helped me explore the idea of truth and be more conscious and reflective of the different perspectives of knowledge. Even though looking back into the essay, some examples may not be completely developed, there is the main idea and should be completely developed in the actual essay.

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C: Quality of knowledge issues. Throughout the essay, the arguments are coherent and complete. We can evaluate and discuss each subtopic to have a better understanding of the ways of knowing and their connection to truth in each sense. There are examples for each subtopic, and its analysis is in-depth. On the other hand, the main points could be more clearly explained, the information is there, and I believe that since it’s an outline, it doesn’t have to have that much information; however, the essay would.

D: Organization of ideas. In my point of view assessing this outline, I can describe that there is a paragraph at the beginning missing explaining the truth. Separate in senses and truth and having a detailed explanation of both would help the reader better understand the knowledge issue and discuss its reliability. However, overall I believe it’s very well structured, and each point has different subtopics with its own explanations. Facts and information and their explanations were correctly added in each paragraph to understand its point and what it’s actually trying to transmit.

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When Should We Trust Our Senses to Give Us the Truth?. (2021, Aug 09). Retrieved December 1, 2022, from