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Can someone please explain the meaning of the quotation

"We don't see things as they are – we see them as we are."?

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Welcome to EL&U. –  Eli Feb 18 '14 at 22:10
It's grammatically garbage, phrased that way purely for the snappy wordplay (which wouldn't be "snappy" if it was more properly expressed as something like "we see them according to what we are"). –  FumbleFingers Feb 19 '14 at 0:35

1 Answer 1

I believe this is related to the idea that each person who sees a thing will see it filtered through their own perceptions. So none of us really see it objectively. Each person sees it with their own beliefs, preconceptions, interpretation, and attitude.

For example, the Rorschach test is (or used to be, don't know if it still is) used to analyse a person's personality, psychological and emotional characteristics. What a person sees in the ink blots isn't about the ink blots, it's about their perception of the ink blots, and hence about them.

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Hence all answers to 'What does X mean?' stand to be subjective. As a friend says, "All words are infinitely polysemous." –  Edwin Ashworth Feb 18 '14 at 22:46
@Edwin especially "polysemous". –  andy256 Feb 18 '14 at 23:21

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