The other day I was reflecting on the nature of perception. The idea of how do you know what another experiences. For me, it was while watching a wee sparrow out the window. It went something like this;
Does that little sparrow see me looking back at it through the window?
Does it wonder about the richness of my life, beyond the partially-obscured image of my face looking at it through the window?
Does it wonder how many chicks I fledged this year?
Why don’t I have feathers?
Could it even see me or does the 2 dimensionality of the window make me invisible?
Does the sounds of our voices coming out of the house sound calming or grating to it?
Is it capable of these observations or is this just another example of a human anthropomorphising an animal?
How can we know the nature of its self-thought when we can’t even discern meaning in its language, hearing but “chirp chirp” instead?
And then my daughter screams “You got toothpaste in my eye,” and I go back to triaging the ever-multiplying emergencies in the house.
Parenting and philosophy are like the Superman and Clark Kent of my mind. They cannot both be present at any given time.
Leave a Reply