What is Reflection Theory and What Does It Mean?

What is Reflection Theory and What Does It Mean?

July 2, 2021 Off By Felso

Reflection Theory is also known as image theory. Reflection Theory is an information theory that determines that correct information is the reflection of objective reality in the human brain.

The problem of how knowledge is acquired is one of the fundamental problems of philosophy and has been considered since the beginning of philosophical thought. This problem, which was developed in the idealist way opened by Plato in the materialist way opened by Democritus in ancient Greek philosophy, could only be explained scientifically with the theory of reflection.

In Antiquity, Democritus claimed that material bodies radiated ‘images’ (Eidola) in the form of invisible atoms, and that these images provided information by influencing the sense organs. This was a materialistic but childish assumption. Ancient Plato, on the other hand, argued that knowledge was formed by the remembrance of the embodied soul of the spiritual ideas that the soul recognized in its existence before entering the body.

The materialist hypothesis of Democritus, English materialists Hobbes, Locke; French materialists Baron d’Holbach, Helvitius, Diderot; It was developed by the German materialist Feuerbach. Plato’s idealist assumption was also developed in the same idealistic direction as the realists in the medieval scholastic, and the rationalists such as Descartes and Leibniz in the New Age.

These, too, have considered knowledge to be the product of thought, and have absolutized the role of thought in the process of knowledge and denied the role of sensation. The error of both camps is based on the same reason, which is the lack of dialectical knowledge. These erroneous materialist and reflective theories of knowledge have been overcome with the ‘reflection theory’.


Reflection and reflection are a property of matter. Every substance, in its interaction, is reflected in and reflects another substance. Reflection is the reproduction of the projected matter by undergoing internal change in the affected matter. Knowledge is the reflection of objective truth in the human brain. However, this reflection is not a simple reflection like a mirror reflecting an object or a piece of rock reflecting a sunbeam. It has two steps:

Sensation stage, in which objective reality is perceived or determined by experiment or calculation,
The stage of thought in which objective reality is transformed and reproduced.

Knowledge becomes knowledge by going through these two steps. Just as the source of knowledge is social or individual practice, its purpose is social practice, and the criterion of its correctness is material, objective, experimental and social practice. That is, knowledge does not descend from the sky. Knowledge reflected from social practice is also used in social practice to transform objective reality and adapt nature to human needs.

Knowing is the mind’s approach, at every step, to the objective reality it recognizes; It is a process that progresses endlessly from ignorance to knowledge, from incomplete and inadequate and wrong information to more complete and more adequate and more accurate information.

The sense organs are the doors of man to the outside world… However, sensory information does not inform the internal structure of objective reality and the laws of evolution. But without sensory knowledge, knowledge of the inner structure and evolutionary laws of objective reality cannot be achieved. For this reason, in order for sensory information to be complete, the materials we perceive with our senses must be modified in our minds. The materials that we perceive with our senses are conceptualized in our minds, and concepts are the basic form of intellectual knowledge. Our mind extracts the materials brought by our senses, that is, abstracts them, and constructs concepts by going through the processes of analysis (analysis) and synthesis (synthesis). Determined concepts constitute judgments, and judgments constitute reasoning.

From the unity of concepts, judgments, and reasonings, assumptions and theories arise, the highest forms of knowledge. Whether assumptions and theories are true is checked and verified by experimentation, social practice. The process of knowledge thus extends from the most primitive sensations to the most advanced theories. This process is a historical and social one, in this process, people make the material universe, which exists outside of themselves and independently of themselves, the subject of their theoretical and practical activities and transform it into science, ideology, religion, art etc. They transform and reproduce into various forms of social consciousness such as “from observation to abstract thought and from there to practice; this is the dialectical way of knowing objective reality.”

In this process, the material becomes the intellectual; but the intellectual is also controlled and validated by the material, applied to the material. In the meantime, let’s repeat this fact: The great mistake of pre-scientific materialism is that it saw only the material, the great mistake of idealism is that it saw only the intellectual. The great achievement of scientific materialism is to reveal the close interdependence between the material and the intellectual. Both sensory and intellectual stages of the information process are closely interdependent; Just as there are intellectual elements in sensory knowledge, there are also sensory elements in intellectual knowledge. While perceiving (sensing N.), people also think, in other words, they perceive by understanding the object they perceive. If we give a rough example, we can say that