Ecological perception affords an explanation of object permanence

Philosophical Explorations 8 (2):189-208 (2005)
In this paper I aim to present an explanation of object permanence that is derived from an ecological account of perceptually based action. In understanding why children below a certain age do not search for occluded objects, one must first understand the process by which these children perform certain intentional actions on non-occluded items; and to do this one must understand the role affordances play in eliciting retrieval behaviour. My affordance-based explanation is contrasted with Shinskey and Munakata's graded representation account; and although I do not reject totally the role representations play in initiating intentional action I nevertheless maintain that only by incorporating direct perception into an account of object permanence can a fuller understanding of this phenomenon be achieved.
Keywords Action  Epistemology  Permanence  Psychology  Piaget, Jean
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DOI 10.1080/13869790500095970
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