Against Direct Perception

Unknown author (1980-03-01)

Central to contemporary cognitive science is the notion that mental processes involve computations defined over internal representations. This notion stands in sharp contrast with another prevailing view ??e direct theory of perception whose most prominent proponent has been J.J. Gibson. The publication of his recent book (The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception ??oston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1979) offers an opportunity to examine the theory of direct perception and to contrast it with the computational/representational view. In this paper the notion of direct perception is examined primarily from a theoretical standpoint, and various objections are raised against it. An attempt is made to place the theory of direct perception in perspective by embedding it in a more comprehensive framework.