Orientalism, as it was known by Napoleon, was based on just such knowledge – that is knowledge about the Orient projected upon it by the Western world. This idea of the Orient, as it was expressed among the Western scholars – overrode the true Orient. Observers entering the true Orient were already convinced of what they knew regarding an unchanging and already defined system, locking everything labeled Orient into a passive, unresisting object for study. Comparable linguistics were the basis for many of these assumptions (Said, 1979). This had, and continues to have, a negative effect upon the Western world’s perception, understanding and appreciation of a multitude of cultures that were erroneously grouped into a single identity. Philosophers continue to argue that reality, as it is presented within films and on tv, is not reflective of our ‘everyday’ reality, yet their arguments are based on water as there is as yet no true definition or conception of what actual reality might be.
In his book “What is Philosophy?” (1960), Jose Ortega y Gasset discusses several key defining aspects of philosophy, including a discussion regarding a definition of the focus of philosophy as a science. While earlier philosophers tended to identify philosophy by the tagline ‘the study of knowledge,’ Ortega points out that nowhere in these texts do any of the philosophers who came before him work to define what the empirical concept of knowledge is and therefore reach an understanding of what is ‘everyday reality.’ Although Ortega does not necessarily phrase his point in this exact terminology, his discussions regarding the nature of knowledge, the nature of science, and the nature of reality perception as it exists within the very human context of time make it abundantly clear that Ortega at least does not feel we will ever completely understand the world around us. To begin with, Ortega brings into clarity the idea that time