Perceiving, Believing, and Knowing 

Reading Assignment

Chapter 4:

Perceiving, Believing, and Knowing

Film Assignment

Films (Choose 1):

· ·  A Beautiful Mind

· ·  The Truman Show

· ·  The Village

Note about films: These have all been chosen based on how they help illustrate and enhance the main focus of each unit.

Unit Lesson

One of the basic building blocks of Critical Thinking involves how you see the world around you. Basic perception involves the senses, but human beings also filter those perceptions. You do not treat everything you see, hear, or touch in the same way, and a lot of the decisions about what to pay attention to AND what to ignore are made unconsciously, without you being aware that such decisions have been made.

Taking a closer look at your reasoning process, therefore, means taking a closer look at how you perceive things. What is filtered out? What is added? How do your expectations influence what you

Perceiving, Believing, and Knowing

HUM 1020, Critical Thinking 1

see and hear? How are other people influencing your perceptions? Where does yourTfilter comeIDE from? Although the film for this unit, A Beautiful Mind, presents the story of a scientist who has

schizophrenia, it is also a vehicle for illustrating and discussing the problems and limits of what anyone can claim to “know” based on perception.

Film Themes:

· ·  Perception is reality.

· ·  Increasing awareness of how we sense the world around us.

· ·  Selecting, organizing and interpreting stimuli

· ·  Knowing what has shaped our lenses, and how that affects our perception

· ·  How we construct beliefs

· ·  Stages of knowing

Unit IV Essay 

Film Essay

Each of the movie selections this unit deal with a big question that is very hard to answer, but a question we should all wrestle with. How do we determine perception vs. reality?

In the movie A Beautiful Mind, a doctor is explaining the horror of schizophrenia to John Nash’s wife and he says:

You see the nightmare in schizophrenia is not knowing what’s true. Imagine if you had suddenly learned that the people and the places and the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse . . . had never been. What kind of hell would that be?

Discuss perception vs. reality within your selected movie. How does the movie determine perception vs. reality?

What about you? When you look around you at the world, how do you know how to react to the people, events, or things that cross your path? As you make decisions about things both big and small, how do you know that you are awake and not dreaming? How do you determine what is perception and what is reality?

Your essay should be no less than two full pages in length, roughly 500 words. If you use outside sources, please cite and reference them according to APA standards.

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