Talk:James J. Gibson
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|WikiProject Psychology||(Rated Stub-class, Low-importance)|
I WROTE THIS PASSAGE TO JUSTIFY THE REMOVAL OF A SILLY REFERENCE TO GIBSON IN THE ONTOLOGY ARTICLE. I THINK IT MAY CONTAIN SOME INTERESTING INFORMATION TO ADD TO THE THE GIBSON ARTICLE, BUT I AM NO GIBSON SCHOLAR AND TOO CHICKEN TO PUT IT UP. PERHAPS OTHERS WITH MORE COURAGE MIGHT FIND THE MATERIAL HERE USEFUL.
BY THE WAY, THE CONNECTION OF GIBSON TO THE Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid WAS OF TREMENDOUS HELP FOR ME. PERHAPS I AM ILL READ, BUT I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW IF ANYBODY CAN CONNECT REID TO THE NEW REALISTS
J. J. Gibson was a student of Holt who was himself a student of James and one of the founders of a brief philosophical movement called the New Realism. One of centeral tenants of that movement, and the one that gave Gibson's work its essential character, was the notion that organisms directly perceive environments. In fact, I believe, his theory is called by some, "direct perception theory"! In any case, in Gibson's view (says I) there is no contradiction between affordances and direct perception because an affordance is a property of an environment that can be directly perceived. Given all of this, I am surprized that J. J. didnt rise up from the grave and edit himself.
The ontology of the new realism is extremely radical. At the risk of violating some norm against hornblowing here, allow me to quote from a passage of an article I am working on. "[That ontology] places consciousness outside the conscious actor. It moves your consciousness, for instance, from being a property of you to being a property of your surroundings. This ontology turns on its head the functionalist notion that your consciousness is ontologically ?within? you but epistemologically available to you only through examination of your behavior. In the New Realist account, the contents of your consciousness are epistemologically linked to you but are ontologically outside of you. Thus, to a New Realist, an emotional feeling is a fact about the world, rather than a fact about the organism that ?has? the feeling."
--Nick Thompson 06:40, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
If anybody cares, 'direct' realism was not actually invented by Thomas Reid, but in fact had been kicking around for millenia, although the 'empiricists' (Locke and Hume etc.) gave its intellectual 'opponent' 'indirect realism' a huge boost. In fact one of the big debates in Medieval philosophy/psychology was between the indirect and direct realists. I think Aquinas was a direct realist, although i am willing to stand corrected by someone who knows more about what they are talking about!
This debate goes right back to the roots of Western philosophy: Plato was an indirect realist and Aristotle was (apparently) a direct realist. Or at least that's what this article claims. http://www2.unil.ch/philo/Pages/epistemologie/bio_cv_esfeld/pdf/2001_pdf/RevMet01.pdf
Incidentally, it's true (to return to the article) that Jens Rasmussen took bits of Gibsonian jargon and added it to his own theories, but Rasmussen has always been a cognitivist through and through: his information processing approach to cognition is diametrically opposed to Gibson's ideas.
It should be noted that, whereas direct realism was very fashionable during the 70s and 80s (i.e. at the height of the cognitivist terror) direct realism is making a comeback, and many contemporary cognitive scientists would now argue that Gibson (and Aristotle) were right.
[New Post follows, i.e., not from the guys above:]
AS a psychology student about to get his Phd, I agree that Gibson makes more sense than dualistic theories (e.g., Marr, 1982). Perhaps this is why psychologists (I mean REAL psychologists) cannot break into mainstream science. Paraphrasing Gibson: the old theories lead to irresolvable questions. The best writing by Gibson, I think, is when he talked about visual perception in a fog-filled medium (i.e., a foggy morning; Gibson, 1979). Although your eyes are receiving stimuluation (e.g., you can open and close your eyes to detect light stimulation) you are not perceiving. When there is "no structure in the light you cannot perceive"...etc. Anyways, stimulus-blindness versus structure-blindness sort of speaks, I think, to the whole frame of mind that has changed in modern psychology.
As another psychology student about to get his PhD (though, perhaps, coming from a different perspective), I'd just like to add that there tends to be a lack of dialogue between more traditional cognitivists and ecological psychologists (they have their own journals, for pete's sake!), which is unfortunate, since there are often strong arguments in favor of both views. The notion of the importance of ecological validity is so very important, yet is frequently misinterpreted by modern researchers on all ends of the spectrum: running a study 'in the forest,' so to speak, does not inherently make a study any more ecologically valid than one run in a laboratory since a laboratory IS an environment in every way that a forest is (albeit a more sterile environment). It should be the rules that govern your environment that need to mimic the real world, and not necessarily the physical appearance of that environment. Xenkylm 17:17, 9 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't think the important point is that measurement takes place in a laboratory or a forest....rather, the important point is that measurement is valid and precise. For example, is there a measure that is equally valid and precise in BOTH the forest and the laboratory? That sort of measure would be good psychology. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The most interesting part of this discussion I think is in the counting (surveying, collecting, etc.) vs the count (survey, collection, etc.). The commonest error of the the establishment view is to denumerate mental states, rather than venerate the stateless states in between them. This is an old idea. It goes back at least to W. James, but probably farther. I only mean to say that a lack of dialogue is due to the inveterate "wishing" of psychologists for the static, unfettered states that they hold so dear. How can the relation of the mind to an object 'A' be the same relation to the object 'A' when 'A' is translated over many new contexts? Of course, this harkens back to the principles of W. James. Summarilly, the 'experience' of 'A' at time 1 and the experience of 'A' at time 2 are fettered all around by the MEAN and/or FUNCTION or experiencing 'A'. This fact is not in question so far as our experience is concerned, but comes under fire when we take the 'A' to be a resolute, disembodied FACT of the world.
By the way, I am the idiot that wrote the first thing about being a "psychology student about to get his PhD". I am insipid about ecological psychology, so please forgive me. My immediate remarks above, about W. James, are immenently the most accurate--real time--conveyence for my ideas about JJ Gibson and EP.
A note: Depth perception as related to relative motion is based on one of his theories also. Called as psychophysical theory developed primarily by James J. Gibson. The explanation of perception deals exclusively with the characteristics of information of stimuli. The stimuli are distinctive elements of what we perceive --e.g. Rock, 1975--. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 21:57, 12 August 2010 (UTC)