New York: Oxford University Press USA (2010)
What is the relationship between perception and action, between an organism and its environment, in explaining consciousness? These are issues at the heart of philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences. This book explores the relationship between perception and action from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, ranging from theoretical discussion of concepts to findings from recent scientific studies. It incorporates contributions from leading philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and an artificial intelligence theorist. The contributions take a range of positions with respect to the view that perception is an achievement by an agent acting in a complex environment in which sensorimotor dynamics constitute an essential ingredient to perceptual experience. A key focus of the book is on the debate about action-oriented theories of visual perception versus the dual-visual systems hypothesis The former champions the role of sensorimotor dynamics in perceptual awareness while the latter favours a functional dichotomy between perception and action. At least on the surface, these two approaches are in conflict. Where one emphasizes the interdependence of action and perception, the other suggests that action and perception are functionally distinct. The dialogue between these two approaches brings out wider theoretical issues underlying the research paradigm of cognitive sciences and philosophy of mind. Exploring one of the major debates in the philosophy and psychology, this book is fascinating reading for all those in the cognitive sciences and philosophy of mind.