Perception and Cognition

Perception and Cognition : Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology

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How do we see? This question has fascinated and perplexed philosophers and scientists for millennia. In visual perception, mind and world meet, when light reflected from objects enters the eyes and stimulates the nerves leading to activity in the brain near the back of the head. This neural activity yields conscious experiences of a world in three dimensions, clothed in colors, and immediately recognized as (say) ground, sky, grass, trees, and friends. The visual
brain also produces nonconscious representations that interact with other brain systems for perception and cognition and that help to regulate our visually guided actions. But how does all of this really work? The answers concern the physiology, psychology, and philosophy of visual perception and
cognition. Gary Hatfield's essays address fundamental questions concerning, in Part I, the psychological processes underlying spatial perception and perception of objects; in Part II, psychological theories and metaphysical controversies about color perception and qualia; and, in Part III, the history and philosophy of theories of vision, including methodological controversies surrounding introspection and involving the relations between psychology and the fields of neuroscience and cognitive
science. An introductory chapter provides a unified overview; an extensive reference list rounds out the volume.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 548 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 31mm | 827g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199228213
  • 9780199228218
  • 1,463,066

Table of contents

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Review quote

Laudably, Hatfields work incorporates abundant experimental and theoretical details from scientific psychology. He excels at bringing those details into contact with abstract philosophical questions. Few philosophers attempt such a fine-grained interface with mainstream vision science. * Michael Rescorla, Philosophical Quarterly * Gary Hatfield's training in experimental psychology, history of science, and philosophy is on full and magnificent display in the sixteen essays collected in this volume. * Lawrence Shapiro, Mind * Trained both in philosophy and experimental psychology (mainly vision research) Hatfield is equally at home in both disciplines and brings an unusually well-grounded approach to the many foundational issues discussed... Hatfield's coverage of much of the mainstream literature and its historical antecedents is impressive... this book provides a rich and essential source of study. * Max Velmans, Journal of Consciousness Studies *
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About Gary Hatfield

Gary Hatfield has studied visual perception for more than three decades. His works include experimental studies of shape constancy, theoretical papers on perception, and philosophical studies of the fundamental concepts and theories of visual perception and cognition and their history. His work in the history and philosophy of psychology extends from the seventeenth century to current controversies on qualia and perceptual representation. He has published books on
Descartes and the Meditations and The Natural and the Normative: Theories of Spatial Perception from Kant to Helmholtz, and he has translated Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. He is the co-founder of the Visual Studies undergraduate program at the University of Pennsylvania and has
co-taught, with psychologists and art historians, courses and seminars on all aspects of visual perception.
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