Wednesday 29 April 2020

Lecture 3: Direct Perceiving, Indirect Perceiving (Turvey, 2019, Lectures on Perception)

In this lecture, Turvey provides a formal definition of what it means to claim a theory of perception is direct vs indirect. A theory of direct perception invokes lawfully specifying information, while all indirect theories invoke at least one mediating physiological or psychological process. Direct theories are allowed to discuss internal states, etc (Gibsonian neuroscience isn't a contradiction in terms), but these states are not allowed to alter information so it is no longer lawfully related to the environment. The big Turvey word we will learn about in this chapter is impredicative entailment - exciting! I'll also briefly point to some implications this chapter has for my recent papers with Sabrina on neuroscience and mechanism.

Friday 24 April 2020

Lecture 2: Organism-Environment Dualism (Turvey, 2019, Lectures on Perception)

In this Lecture, Turvey lays out the organism-environment dualism that lies at the heart of pretty much all attempts to answer the question, how can an organism come to know about it's environment via perception? He discusses Descartes' mechanistic (mechanical) approach, and then pivots back to the idea that Composition, Environment, Structures (CES) systems are the only approach that can possibly cope with the nature of the problem. 

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Lecture 1: What Kind of Systems Do We Study? (Turvey, 2019, Lectures on Perception)

The first thing to do is to characterise what it is we are studying when we are studying perception. Turvey states we are studying epistemic, intentional systems and spends this chapter explaining each term. He does the most work on system; intentional and epistemic are primarily just defined and noted as being features of the system we are going to have to engage with. 

As usual, I will try to efficiently review the key points and then add some reflections on what the chapter made me think about. 

Reading Group: Turvey (2019), Lectures on Perception

Michael Turvey runs a famously intense graduate level class on perception and action at CESPA. He has recently, finally, published a book of his lectures, in which he basically develops the ecological approach to perception-action from first principles. I've been reading the lectures in small bites (each one is a good 20 minute read to go through), but I've now been invited to a Zoom reading group with Noah Guzmán and Peter Zatka-Haas. This is awesome, as it's an excuse to do the next thing I wanted to do, which is to go back through the lectures in detail (20 minutes to read, a lifetime to digest!). 

This will take a while, but I plan to develop a series of posts, one lecture at a time, similar to what I've done with Chemero (2009) and what Sabrina has done with Gibson (1979) (see The Rough Guide for links). In each post, I will attempt to (concisely) summarise the key points from the lecture. At the end, I will reflect on what I've learned from the lecture, and connect it to issues in the literature. 

Turvey is a genuine gift to science, and these lectures are kind of amazing. Allons-y!

Links to posts