Vision without representation

Alva Noë

in Perception, Action, and Consciousness

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780199551118
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191594960 | DOI:
Vision without representation

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According to actionism, perceptual consciousness is a skill-based, environmentally-situated activity. Perception, therefore, on this approach, is not something that happens in us (in our brains) and so it is not a process in our brains whereby an internal picture or representation is produced. Perception is related intimately to action (although it does not itself require action). In the last few years, actionism has come under attack from those who call into question the kind of dependence it posits between perception and action. This chapter responds to these criticisms. It offers a taxonomy of different ways of thinking about the relation between perception and action. It shows that none of these, understood correctly, provide grounds for rejecting the claims of actionism. Moreover, it shows that one influential line of thinking about the relation between vision and action — a line associated with the two visual systems hypothesis of Milner and Goodale (1995) — far from providing resources for rejecting actionism, actually depends on its truth.

Keywords: actionism; perceptual consciousness; action; internal picture; two visual systems hypothesis

Chapter.  8535 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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