A/n: I wish ff had a "philosophical" genre section. :/ Anyway, enjoy, I will update as new ideas strike me. ^^ And thank you, AmatorLinguae, for giving me the idea of "Professor Holmes" XD
"Seeing objectively," Holmes began, "is impossible to attain in its purest form, as long as one allows emotional attachments."
"It is simple, Watson. A child begins life having no prior experience and so they see everything as if for the first time. If a cat were to come to them they would have no bias, they would want to examine it, touch and taste. It is the experienced, or should I say, biased, person, who sees a cat and draws upon a lifetime of accumulated emotional threads, which come from experience and work together to weave a tapestry of perception. Thus they may despise the cat upon sight, though it be the most amiable of felines."
"But--tapestry of perception, Holmes? This sounds fantastic."
"Well I'm only using a metaphor, Watson. Of course there is no real tapestry, but say a fellow has a bad time when they try to ride a bicycle. They fall off, break their nose, whatever you like. They saw a puppy killed by a reckless bicycler and their father wasted the family income on buying bicycle tires. I know that last part is slightly ridiculous, but do you see what I'm saying?"
"Not quite, I'm afraid."
"Only think, Watson, what this fellow will say if he comes upon a child, crying in the street, and there are many things about, among them a bicycle track. Will he wonder to himself what is wrong?"
"That's not my point! He knows something is wrong, but he will seize upon the bicycle track, and what will come to his mind? Yes, bad memories. He will assume that a bicycle caused the trouble. Perhaps a bad rider or something else, but the tracks will burn in his eyes and mind as if they were flames!"
"Shouldn't he tend to the child first, though?"
Holmes made an impatient gesture. "Again, you're missing my point. If you must paint a full and flowery picture, we can say some kindly lady is cleaning the child up and giving it a sweet. But your business is to find out what happened! What happened, Watson? What do you see?"
"All I see is a bicycle track."
"Exactly. And what can you deduce from a track? Not much if you're missing the rest of the picture. What if I filled in for you that there were muddy tracks of a large dog nearby, and some spots of blood?"
"Well, that certainly changes things."
"Quite," Holmes agreed, "and yet you did not see the paw prints, you only saw the tracks, because you allowed your emotions to interfere, filtering your sight."
Watson frowned. "But after all, Holmes, how is it possible to keep unbiased from our experiences, to keep from being effected? Isn't it true that we learn through experience, and mistakes, trial and error?"
He wavered a moment. "Well—there's the personal, and then again the professional. A single human's life is as a microcosm, you see, and everything is somewhat shrunken. When on a case, I must use only statistics and instincts, not draw from one day five years ago I was served chilled Claret—which was abominable, by the way, Watson—but I can't think of any personal experiences when I try to see the world of a case, whose threads may extend through multiple countries, and, indeed, wind back into the dusty past. It's not the same as the personal, where no harm is likely to come through referencing and acting on your own history and experiences. Watson, is your head bothering you?"
"It is starting to ache," Watson groaned. "Holmes, you're always thinking of the most baffling complexities, and I admit it grows exhausting."
"We can talk of something simpler, of course. Have you any suggestions?"
"I think," Watson began with a mischievous look, "we should test your opinion that chilled Claret really is as bad as all that."
"Ha! very well, I'll bring a bottle home tomorrow on my way home. I have several errands to do, so it all works out."
"Don't get run over by a bicycle," Watson advised as he settled himself behind a newspaper.
Holmes grinned, plucked the agony section from his friend and made himself comfortable in his armchair.