Does perception exist when I am sleeping?
Is there a perception of my clothes when my mind is focused on something else (e.g., driving?)
I think the answer should be no because plants can experience sensations (e.g, heat) but they lack a mind. However, if the answer is no, then how is perception automatic?
For further explanation of the Objectivist view of sensations and perception, refer to the topics of "Sensations" and "Perception" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon.
answered Sep 18 '12 at 02:19
Ideas for Life ♦
Perception is automatic, within the limitations of your sense organs, but you don't have to pay attention to what you are perceiving.
For example, if someone is quiet, and behind me, I will not perceive them unless I turn around. That's because my eyes are directionally limited, and my ears are limited in their ability to hear, and my nose can't sense people at a distance, and my sense of touch is even less sensitive than my ears (it requires contact with something solid, rather than just air vibrations).
As well, if I'm in a crowd, surrounded by hundreds of people, I may perceive them all, but I won't remember any of them unless I take notice of him or her.
Perception creates what is available for the mind to focus on, if it chooses.
I don't think that perception operates while you are sleeping. I think that's what being asleep means: you have no perceptions -- or perhaps it means that even though you have perceptions, you are unable to pay attention to any of them. Regardless, perception is of no use to you while you are asleep.
Is there a perception of your clothes while you are focused on something else? Yes. This is evidenced by the fact that if you choose, you can pay attention to your clothes. Consciousness has an ability to remove, from attention, that which is relatively constant. That's why it's hard to focus on a blank wall, and why one tends to forget about one's clothing while one wears them.
answered Sep 18 '12 at 06:44
John Paquette ♦