Ernst Mach is one of the most important exponents dell’empioriocriticism (aaaah!). His study sought to provide an epistemological (aaaah!) approach to scientific knowledge, questioning deterministic meccanicism (aaaah!).Too many big words.
Basically for the Viennese physicist and philosopher where the senses can not reach there is nothing. What exists is only a series of simple sensations, irreducible, intimately joined in a sort of continuous flow. He argued that
“the bodies do not generate the sensations, but complexes of sensations form the bodies”
A color for example is a physical object as long as we consider its connected to light sources (other colors, heat, space, etc..), but if we consider it as connected to the retina it is a sensation, it is a psychological object. The bodies are only symbols that the mind uses to indicate complexes of sensations
What are the implications of this interpretation?
If a blind person does not have the visual sensation of an object, that object is not there for him . In fact, if it’s a chair he could bump against it, and then the chair will exist after the tactile sensation.
So in a sense not see and not to hear are disabilities only in relation to what most of people believe we should see or hear. But even in this case it is all very subjective. Not even the majority sees and feels the same way.
The idea on the visual character of the experience is well captured by Ernst Mach, in a now famous drawing. In the drawing the visual field is in focus and detail from the center to the periphery where it suddenly fades into white. Yet there are reasons to believe that the visual experience is not like the drawing of Mach would have us to believe.
The human eye has a very poor peripheral vision .
The visual field is not perfectly in focus from the center outward.
There is an area of the retina where there are no photoreceptors, therefore it is effectively blind to what is in this region (blind spot) but usually you do not notice the difference, even in monocular vision.
If you fix your gaze on a wall of uniform color, with one eye closed, you will not notice
a lack corresponding to the blind spot. The perceptual experience can be deceiving.
In addition, attention depends on perception. (See article)
What does this mean?
The drawing of Mach is not a true representation of perceptual experience, which, in fact, is not continuous, consistent and detailed. Vice versa is discontinuous, fragmented and poorly detailed.
WE DO NOT ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE WE THINK WE DO.
Again, this supports the idea that the vision is conveyed by the experience and by the processing of perceived stimuli into informations that are interpreted differently from the brains of different individuals.
To overcome your limits also means to be free to feel/perceive the world and the reality you want? If Mach was right and so if the reality is made of psychological objects, what is the reality of a blind man? And 9f an RP with residual vision?