The presence of environmental objects to perceptual consciousness: An integrative, ecological and phenomenological approach

Journal of Mind and Behavior 18 (4):371-390 (1997)
This article is the promised sequel to a recently published article in this journal , in which I sought to make more available to psychologists Edmund Husserl’s attempted explanation of how perceptual mental acts succeed in presenting to consciousness their external, environmental objects themselves, as opposed to some kind of representation of them. Here, I continue my exposition of Husserl’s effort and, as well, I begin a project of seeking to bridge the gap between his phenomenological account of perceptual presence to consciousness and James J. Gibson’s ecological conception of direct perception. I am concerned, with what happens at the juncture of the perceptual system’s resonance to the stimulus energy flux and the perceiver’s awareness of those environmental objects, events, properties, and relations which are specified by the informational variables that the picked-up stimulus flux instantiates. I believe that simultaneously considering the environment’s phenomenological perceptual presence from both sides of the great epistemic divide – from the ecological outside and from the phenomenological inside – is worth a serious try. In the case of both these perspectives, we fortunately can draw upon a lifetime of intensive work by a major theorist operating at the highest level, work directly relevant to the general phenomenon of special interest here
Keywords Consciousness  Ecology  Environment  Phenomenology  Science
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