Archive for November 1st, 2021

November 1, 2021

A rant about perception

by Neil Rickert

I follow the blog “Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists“. The authors are perceptual psychologists. In the a recent post they attempt to explain the distinction between whether perception is direct or indirect. This post is by Andrew, though both of the blog authors agree that perception is direct.

I happen to agree that perception is direct. But I disagree with a lot of what Andrew says in his post. Hence my comments may look like something of a rant.

I’ll be quoting from Andrew’s blog post. The wordpress software formats quotes in a distinctive way, so I think the reader will be able to tell when I am quoting.

Andrew begins with this:

All theories of perception begin with the fact that we experience a rich, detailed world full of things we can and can’t do, should and shouldn’t do. Specifically, we experience a behaviourally relevant world.

I can fully agree with that statement. So at least we begin with agreement.

Indirect perception

Andrew then gives his characterization of indirect perception:

Indirect theories begin with the assumption that the world does not present itself to us in behaviourally relevant terms, and that we therefore need at least one mediating layer between us and the world in order to transform the way the world presents itself into the way we experience the world.

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