Lectures on Perception: An Ecological Perspective addresses the generic principles by which each and every kind of life form—from single celled organisms (e.g., difflugia) to multi-celled organisms (e.g., primates)—perceives the circumstances of their living so that they can behave adaptively. It focuses on the fundamental ability that relates each and every organism to its surroundings, namely, the ability to perceive things in the sense of how to get about among them and what to do, or not to do, with them. The book’s core thesis breaks from the conventional interpretation of perception as a form of abduction based on innate hypotheses and acquired knowledge, and from the historical scientific focus on the perceptual abilities of animals, most especially those abilities ascribed to humankind. Specifically, it advances the thesis of perception as a matter of laws and principles at nature’s ecological scale, and gives equal theoretical consideration to the perceptual achievements of all of the classically defined ‘kingdoms’ of organisms—Archaea, Bacteria, Protoctista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Part 1: Foundational Concepts
- What Kinds of Systems Do We Study?
- Organism-Environment Dualism
- Direct Perceiving, Indirect Perceiving
- Simulative, Projective and Locality Assumptions
- The Mechanistic Hypothesis
- The Cartesian Program
- Empiricism and the Man in the Inner Room
- The Space Enigmas I: Berkeley
- The Space Enigmas II: Kant, the Nature of Geometry, and the Geometry of Nature
- The Space Enigmas III: Local Signs and Geometrical Empiricism
- Doctrines of Sensations and Unconscious Inferences
- The Space Enigmas. IV: On Learning Space Perception
- Gestaltism I: Atomism, Anatomism and Mechanistic Order
- Gestalt Theory II: Fields, Self-organization, and the Invariance Postulate of Evolution
- Gestalt Theory III: Experience Error, CNS Error, Psycho-neural Isomorphism, Behavioral Environment
- The Computational-Representational Perspective: Preliminaries
- Pattern Recognition and Representation Bearers
- Turing Reductionism, Token Physicalism: The Computational System Assumption
- Reflections on the Physical Symbol System Hypothesis
- Ecology: The Science that Reasons Why
- Barriers to Ecological Realism
- Ontology at the Ecological Scale
- Ecological Optics Primer
- Perceiving "How to Get About Among Things"
- The Mechanical Basis for "Getting About Among Things"
- Strong Anticipation and Direct Perception
Part 2: Computational-Representational Perspective
Part 3: Ecological Perspective
Michael T. Turvey is Board of Trustees' Distinguished Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Connecticut and a Senior Scientist at Haskins Laboratories in Connecticut. He is the recipient of Guggenheim and Catell Fellowships, the American Psychological Association Early Career Award, Fellow of Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP), Bernstein 2009 Prize in Motor Control, SEP Lifetime Achievement Award, Association for Psychological Science Lifetime Mentor Award, and two honorary doctorates.
Michael Turvey is the leading exponent of a physical biology of intentional systems for all creatures great and nano. In these interwoven lectures, he charts a path to a thoroughly scientific psychology, grounded in philosophy, ecology, thermodynamics, and the theory of complex systems. Developed over the course of an esteemed career, Turvey’s radical vision (in the sense of going to the root) throws down the gauntlet for the next generation of students of perceiving, acting, and knowing.William H. Warren, Chancellor’s Professor of Cognitive Science, Brown University