New Psyche on ‘action in perception’

wider_than_the_sky.jpgA new edition of Psyche, the journal of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, has just been published online, and is a special issue on ‘action in perception’.

The edition is curated by philosopher Alva Noë and takes a novel approach to understanding conscious perception.

The main idea of this book is that perceiving is a way of acting. Perception is not something that happens to us, or in us. It is something we do. Think of a blind person taptapping his or her way around a cluttered space, perceiving that space by touch, not all at once, but through time, by skillful probing and movement. This is, or at least ought to be, our paradigm of what perceiving is. The world makes itself available to the perceiver through physical movement and interaction.

This has some similarities with the later work of psychologist J. J. Gibson, who argued in his book The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception that perception could only be understood by accounting for the way in which in an organism uses vision to act within its environment.

Link to Psyche.

One Comment

  1. Posted April 2, 2006 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I think this can also be related to the work of Francisco Varela, about “Enaction”, which is a learning theory in which the subject who can control its learning process learns better than another subject, simply exposed with only passive control on the learning process.


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