Publication 5889

Fleischaker G. R. (1984) The traditional model for perception and theory of knowledge: Its metaphor and two recent alternatives. Behavioral Science 29(1): 40–50. Fulltext at
This paper provides 1) a description of what has historically become the traditional model for perception theory and the theory of knowledge, 2) a characterization of the assumptions underlying that model, and 3) a comparison of that traditional model to each of two recent models. The two recent models are the “information‐based” model of perception by the psychologist James J. Gibson, and the autopoietic or “organizational closure” model of perception by the biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela. A description of each model is presented, as are its underlying assumptions and conceptual viewpoint. The author’s intent, in an examination of the two recent models, is to show 1) that problems attendant to the traditional model, and to Gibson’s model as a variant of it, result from definitions within the ocular metaphor which describes that model; 2) that once the metaphor is discarded, both the theory of perception and the theory of knowledge can be differently circumscribed altogether; and 3) that the autopoietic model of Maturana and Varela has done just that.

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