Article

Perception in Philosophy and Psychology in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

Gary Hatfield

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Perception

Published in print July 2015 | ISBN: 9780199600472
Published online September 2013 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199600472.013.007

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Perception in Philosophy and Psychology in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

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The chapter begins with a sketch of the empirical, theoretical, and philosophical background to nineteenth-century theories of perception, focusing on visual perception. It then considers German sensory physiology and psychology in the nineteenth century and its reception. This section gives special attention to: assumptions about nerve–sensation relations; spatial perception; the question of whether there is a two-dimensional representation in visual experience; psychophysics; size constancy; and theories of colour perception. The chapter then offers a brief look at the interaction between perceptual theory and philosophical issues in epistemology and the metaphysics of mind in Britain and America, focusing on: the notion of a muscle sense; the problem of the external world; and forms of perceptual realism. It ends with an overview of psychological theories of perception in the early twentieth century and the Gestalt reaction, culminating with J. J. Gibson.

Keywords: colour perception; German psychology; Gestalt psychology; James J. Gibson; William Hamilton; problem of the external world; psychophysics; representative realism; size constancy; spatial perception

Article.  9272 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy

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