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The Oldest Photographs in the World & Human Perception

Updated: Aug 5, 2023

Video from Neil Dinsmore

The Oldest Photographs in the World & Human Perception

"A collection of the world's oldest and first of their kind photographs, charting the evolution of photography from inception to modern day. Music: “Open Sea Morning” by Puddle of Infinity. Check out my other channel for future Curiosity Vault videos! / @curiosityvaultof... " from video introduction

How do we see the world around us? How do we each as individuals perceive in our minds through our eyes?

It is becoming more evident that our unique individual consciousness SEEs the world differently than any other person.

The discussions and recognition of how we each see has over time lead to many different theories.

The progression of how human's perceive and interact with time is also at the center of much that we do.

Life, human life and the life of the Cosmos is very complex.

The video above shows old photographs as mankind seeks to capture moments in time. But are we even today seeing the same things? And what does seeing the world differently mean for us as individuals and humanity mean?

Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura

How Photography Changed Our View of Life & Creation

French inventor, Nicéphore Niépce, is credited as the inventor of photography and was a pioneer in that new field.

But why do we need to do what we do with photography?

The purpose of photography is generally thought to communicate and document moments in time. A photo freezes moments in time, which leads to a background story of the person, environment, animal, landscape or event.

And studies show that taking pictures improves your visual memory of an experience or experiences.

Photography and videos have made our life very different than any other time in the history of humanity. We can see past history, past events both good and bad, solve crimes with the help of photos and video, the list is extensive.

You and I today think in terms of visual media and experiences. The movie/idea in our minds can now be replicated to some degree with photos and video.

Photography is an artform and expresses many things not found in other media. It's benefits to science is immeasurable.

We have indeed been blessed by God with this technology.

People with Creative Personalities Really Do See the World Differently

"What is it about a creative work such as a painting or piece of music that elicits our awe and admiration? Is it the thrill of being shown something new, something different, something the artist saw that we did not?

As Pablo Picasso put it:

Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.

The idea that some people see more possibilities than others is central to the concept of creativity.

Psychologists often measure creativity using divergent thinking tasks. These require you to generate as many uses as possible for mundane objects, such as a brick. People who can see numerous and diverse uses for a brick (say, a coffin for a Barbie doll funeral diorama) are rated as more creative than people who can only think of a few common uses (say, for building a wall).

The aspect of our personality that appears to drive our creativity is called openness to experience, or openness. Among the five major personality traits, it is openness that best predicts performance on divergent thinking tasks. Openness also predicts real-world creative achievements, as well as engagement in everyday creative pursuits.

As Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire explain in their book Wired to Create, the creativity of open people stems from a “drive for cognitive exploration of one’s inner and outer worlds”.

This curiosity to examine things from all angles may lead people high in openness to see more than the average person, or as another research team put it, to discover “complex possibilities laying dormant in so-called ‘familiar’ environments”.

Creative vision

In our research, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, we found that open people don’t just bring a different perspective to things, they genuinely see things differently to the average individual..." from the article: People with creative personalities really do see the world differently

“The dirty little secret about sensory systems is that they’re slow, they’re lagged, they’re not about what’s happening right now but what’s happening 50 milliseconds ago, or, in the case for vision, hundreds of milliseconds ago,” says Adam Hantman, a neuroscientist at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus.

Let's Consider Our Subjective Experiences ("Qualia")

When we try to describe the undescribable we have a problem.

This is the case with consciousness in general and qualia specifically.

To go deeper into how we each perceive and functionally see the world differently let's look at our subjective experiences which include among other things how we each see a color.

Qualia is our own unique subjective experience that physicalism cannot replicate or explain.

"Qualia (singular: quale) are those properties of conscious mental states or events that determine 'what it is like' for the subject of those states or events to undergo them. Paradigm examples of qualia include the particular painfulness of some pain state, the sensation of being tickled, the taste of lemon, or the smell of fresh mown grass. Somewhat more contested examples might include 'primary qualities' presented in perception, such as shape or number; emotions such as feelings of elation or a sensation of creeping depression; or qualititive features that may accompany cognition (such as one's 'internal monologue', or the feeling of something being 'on the tip of one's tongue'). Even within the canonical range of qualia the notion is contested, and some argue that we cannot make clear sense of it at all. If it can be made sense of, then a key question is whether qualia are irreducibly nonphysical, or alternatively can be naturalised through reduction to or identification with some physical or functional property. Questions also arise about our knowledge of qualia (our own and others), and about the relationship between qualia and intentional content: qualia have often been thought of as non-intentional features of mental states, although this position has recently been widely challenged.Key worksC.I. Lewis is generally thought to have coined the term 'qualia' in Lewis 1956, while Dennett 1991 attempts to cast doubt on the coherence of the notion (and see also Rey 1998). Searle 1992 is a well known argument that all conscious mental states, including thoughts and occurrent beliefs, have a qualitative character (and see also Strawson 1994). Several lines of argument have been advanced to try and show that qualia cannot be physical, including the conceivability argument (Kripke 1980, Chalmers 1996), the knowledge argument (Nagel 1974, Jackson 1982) and the explanatory gap argument (Levine 1983). Important physicalist responses include the proposal that qualia are naturalisable as a species of intentional property (e.g. Byrne 2001), and the 'phenomenal concepts' strategy that argues that the appearance of a gap between the physical and the phenomenal is merely conceptual and not ontological (Loar 1990)..." from the article: Qualia

The Knowledge Argument

"The knowledge argument is one of the main challenges to physicalism, the doctrine that the world is entirely physical. The argument begins with the claim that there are truths about consciousness that cannot be deduced from the complete physical truth. For example, Frank Jackson’s Mary learns all the physical truths from within a black-and-white room. Then she leaves the room, sees a red tomato for the first time, and learns new truths—new phenomenal truths about what it is like to see red. The arguer infers that, contrary to physicalism, the complete physical truth is not the whole truth. The physical truth does not determine or metaphysically necessitate the whole truth about the world.." from the article: The Knowledge Argument Against Physicalism

Against Physicalist Reductionism (Aquinas 101)

"What about the position that the ultimate explanation of everything is not the Divine Mind, but simply material things, space, time, various forces, and brute factual laws? Is that a reasonable explanation of everything? Against Physicalist Reductionism (Aquinas 101) - Fr. James Brent, O.P. For an example and a refutation of a contemporary physicalistic reductionist, see Prof. Edward Feser's essay here: from the video introduction

Mary's Room: A Philosophical Thought Experiment - Eleanor Nelsen

Video from TED - Ed

"Imagine a neuroscientist who has only ever seen black and white things, but she is an expert in color vision and knows everything about its physics and biology. If, one day, she sees color, does she learn anything new? Is there anything about perceiving color that wasn’t captured in her knowledge? Eleanor Nelsen explains what this thought experiment can teach us about experience. Lesson by Eleanor Nelsen, animation by Maxime Dupuy." from video introduction

Counterpoint to Consciousness & Qualia

Daniel Dennett is a philosopher known for advocating a reductionistic view of consciousness. He also promotes the theory of evolution as of central importance to understanding man and his place in the universe.

But this is only speculation. He like many other scientists and philosophers cannot find consciousness in the human brain or anywhere else. So the quest goes on.

Will we this side of heaven ever understand consciousness.

Daniel Dennett - Consciousness, Qualia and the "Hard Problem"

"Philosopher Daniel Dennett explains how his functionalist perspective can shed some light on the apparent mystery of conscious experience. Interviewed by Louis Godbout. (Aria from J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations played by Andrew Rangell, Keyboard Masterworks, Steinway & Sons)." from video introduction

We are a "Soul" and How that Affects our Perceptions

Matthew 10:28

28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

As I continue to pursue how we each see the world differently let's look at another key component to our humanity, our Soul.

Numbers 27:16

16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation

Christ affirms the reality of a human spirit or soul in scripture. I will not go into further detail here, as He is the ultimate authority of reality. God's word also describes an intermediate state of existence after physical death. Here in Sheol (Isaiah 14:9-10), the Place of the Dead, the human spirits (shades) are described as being active and aware.

Isaiah 14:9-10

9 Sheol beneath is stirred up

to meet you when you come;

it rouses the shades to greet you,

all who were leaders of the earth;

it raises from their thrones

all who were kings of the nations.

10 All of them will answer

and say to you:

‘You too have become as weak as we!

You have become like us!’

Our human soul then is fully present and throughout our body. Our awareness and center of consciousness was created by God when we received the breath of life. We alone own our experiences in this life. Introspection and contemplation allows us to be aware of our own selves, the I, the ego. We can come to realize we are identified with our bodies. Our bodies though also a gift from God are founded on human genetics.

Our souls have been shown to also contain various and ongoing mental states; sensations, thoughts, beliefs etc.

We at any given moment are in a feelings state or thought state.

How are we seeing the world around us?

Very profound questions indeed!

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