The praxiology of perception: Visual orientations and practical action

Inquiry 251 (September):251-272 (1990)
Abstract
A range of arguments are presented to demonstrate that (1) human visual orientations are conceptually constituted (concept?bound); (2) the concept?boundedness of visual orientations does not require a cognitivist account according to which a mental process of ?inference? or of ?interpretation? must be postulated to accompany a purely ?optical? registration of ?wavelengths of light?, ?photons?, or contentless ?information'; (3) concept?bound visual orientations are not all instances of ?seeing as?, contrary to some currently prominent cognitivist accounts; (4) the dispute between cognitivist and realist accounts about the phenomenon of ?seeing as? is spurious, and is based upon a confusion about the fundamental analytical distinction made by Wittgenstein between ?seeing? and ?seeing as'; (5) ?perceiving?, ?seeing?, and ?seeing as? are but three of a large array of verbs of human visual orientation, and are not ?master categories? under which one can subsume these other modalities; (6) one cannot deduce a continuity of human visual orientation from a continuity of photon?photoreceptor interaction, a point we characterize as the ?staggered character? of human visual orientations; (7) detailed attention to the grammars of the diverse verbs of human visual orientation can open up a domain of study which we here refer to as a ?praxiology of perception'; (8) the nature of such an inquiry can be illustrated with exemplary reference to the analysis of the properties of ?noticing? as embedded in courses of practical action; and (9) such arguments, which claim that existing perceptual theories overly homogenize what is involved in visual orientations to the world, parallel those of Stroll, who proposes that standard accounts of ?what is perceived? overly homogenize the perceptible environment
Keywords Concept  Epistemology  Perception  Praxiology  Visual  Gibson, J
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