The Enigma Of The Universe : Sense-organs and Sensory Qualities

Published: 17.12.2014

A possible reason of the ambiguity created in Eddington’s view regarding the subjectivity of the sensory qualities (colour, taste, etc.) may be the natural harmony between the construction of sense-organs and the sensory qualities. We perceive the attributes of matter viz., touch, taste, odour and colour through the sense of touch (cutis), the sense of taste (tongue), the sense of odour (nose) and the sense of reason vision (eyes) respectively. Each of the above four senses is composed of characteristic nerve-centres sensitive to their respective objects, viz., touch, etc.). Thus there is a sort of natural harmony in the construction of the sense-organs and the four essential attributes of matter. This harmony creates a question whether the specific construction of the sense-organs is something original and on account of it, the object comes to possess the qualities touch, etc.) or whether the qualities are independently possessed by the object and the specific construction of the sense-organs is altogether an independent fact? Eddington probably considers the specific construction of the sense-organs as something original. But it should not be forgotten that the prominence of sensory construction is a fact related to epistemology. When we deal with metaphysics, the specific construction of sense organs is to be regarded as altogether an independent fact having no bearings whatsoever on the qualities existing objectively in matter. Thus, metaphysically the existence of qualities and the construction of sense-organs should oe regarded as independent facts.

Another thing to be borne in mind is that we should not confuse the perceived sensory qualities with the physical qualities which cause the sensations. In the light of foregoing discussion it has become amply clear that the physical qualities existing objectively in the external bodies are the causes of our sensations while the qualities perceived by our sense-organs which we call as “sensations” are not the same as the objective qualities but are created as the result of the interaction between the sense-organs and the objective qualities (and also light in the case of colour), and therefore, are neither wholly objective nor wholly subjective. In brief, the sensation is the effect, of which the objective quality possessed by the external body is the cause.

Sources

Title: The Enigma Of The Universe

Publisher: JVB University Ladnun

English Edition: 2010

HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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