Recognition in the Domain of Thoughts

Recognition in the Domain of Thoughts


Recognition in the Domain of Thoughts


The Possibility of Recognition

The basic question that first comes to mind is whether recognition is feasible or not? Ancient Greek Mystics believed that it is impossible to discover facts. Their reasons for this include:

1-Errors of Vision: When the recognizer has different viewpoints, the recognized points will also be different from one another. A high mountain appears to be a mere hill seen from far away, the rotating blades of a fan look like a circle, and railway lines seem to meet in the distance, for our knowledge – as Laozi quotes from Niels Bohr – is the product of our watching and playing around in the universe; we gain knowledge via "the object for its own sake" to "the object for us." Such ways of reasoning are not acceptable, for a change in position or location would reveal the truth. By getting closer to the mountain, for instance, it will seem high to us once again. Sensory errors can be compensated for by the other means. If recognition is not feasible, the senses, mind and tools of experimentation must be used to acquire various viewpoints needed for coming to a concrete conclusion. 

2-Conflicts in Findings: Those against the possibility of recognition believe that different people have various points of view when identifying facts, and achieving unity in this matter is impossible. Man may be appealed by something today, but disgusted by it tomorrow. What seems extremely valuable to him today may prove worthless later. Such a conclusion is not acceptable, for conflicts in identifications either lies in observable affairs or human imagination. If the dispute arises from worldly affairs, it in fact proves that identification is real, for without it the mind would never react differently towards various facts. Conflicts in mental and sensory discoveries also convey that recognition is real, for the mind and the senses create certain discoveries under certain circumstances and conditions.

3-The Variability of the Universe: Some believe that the constant changes and developments occurring in the universe and its components defies identification, for not only external facts, but also the human mind and senses undergo change, and thus cannot fully reflect facts.

The solution for this source of error is that change and progress in the two worlds –mental and physically observable– alongside identification shows that the main factor is something beyond the mind and the senses, and therefore is not prone to change. The mind and the senses merely serve as to transfer the knowledge to the discoverer – the self, soul, character, or spirit. 

4-What is reflected from the observable world into our mind is not well-defined enough to be able to be compared with the facts and have the mental concepts matched with the external facts. Thus, we are not certain what there is also in the mind – in other words, whether it is compatible with the world outside or not.

In response to this problem, we must say that the human mind is capable of absorbing facts from the universe and also process them. This shows how powerful and significant the human mind is, not its incompetence. Sophists, however, imagined that the mind should be like a mirror that only reflects the facts, with no external impression on them. 

5-The intimate relationship and dependency among the components of the universe has brought some to believe that ignorance toward just one part will lead to total ignorance. Such reasoning is applicable only to those who claim they have knowledge of absolutely everything, not considering the knowledge they gain from their tools for observing the external world as relative. However, there are cases of absolute knowledge, which do not fit into any form of logic or reason – "the universe is real and follows certain laws," to name one. 


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