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Criticism of JJ Gibson

For one to receive data from the environment, one has to be equipped with organs such as the ear, nose, and eyes. Each of these organs is a part of the sensory system that takes in sensory inputs while also transmitting information to the brain. The problem presented in this situation lies in the need for psychologists to explain the process through which external physical energy received by the organs creates a basis for perceptual experience. Consideration has to be placed on the fact that these sensory inputs are converted into the perceptions of the things that we see such as chairs, desks, computers, cars, flowers, planes, smell, tastes as well as sounds. Gibson’s theory on perception is based on his realization that the traditional theory of depth perception was far off the mark. Based on the research he theorized that the traditional ideas of the depth cues were not sufficient. With this, he noted that light provided information and the changes that were taking place within the surrounding field of light did offer information, which the static displays failed to do.   According to his theory, the visual perception was due to the fact that surrounding light presented visual information that was directly accessible rather than being based on the visual clues drawn from the retina that had to be interpreted. Thus, Gibson comes up with a direct theory of perception that is more of a bottom-up processing theory that claims perception involves innate mechanisms that are created by evolution and that learning is not required.

Fodor and Pylyshyn (1981) criticize Gibson’s concept of visual perception, questioning if visual experience is direct. The authors’ essay attempts to examine the concept that the assumption of cognitive dispensation is unnecessary and unnecessary to account for human perceptual connection with the environment. The question here is whether, if the environment is fully characterized, visual perception is direct since it only needs a choice from the data existing in the illuminance. This theory that Gibson presents is denoted as the information dispensation view as it holds that acuity depends upon inferences. In the article, Fodor and Pylyshyn (1981) note that inference is a process that is based on the idea that premises are presented and the consequences are drawn as it takes time. Thus, Fodor and Pylyshyn (1981) attack Gibson’s theory of perception because the theorist fails to address the correlational problem in visual perception. The authors point out that Gibson fails to explain how perceivers learn to identify and link some visible features of light with those experienced by the environment. The article notes that inference and perception take time as it is part of the data processing view which also underlines the fact that there is an intrinsic connection between memory and perception. Fodor and Pylyshyn (1981) argue that inference is a psychological mechanism since it entails the transformation of the psychological conversion of mental depictions. This means that observation of the pertinent respects is more of a computational process. The claims made by Gibson, therefore, are outrageous as they deny the computational account of perception placing it as a reformulation of parts. The authors claim that Gibson’s thinking presents perception as a direct pickup of properties and does not account for psychological processing.

The ecological theory of direct perception requires the presence of a new theory of cognition (Fodor and Pylyshyn). In their critique, the authors highlight the correlation problem as a critical issue for any theory of visual perception since it is the core difficulty. This suggests that this issue has a role in the formulation of research issues. The authors point out that the largest issues would arise when cognitive psychology, as well as the philosophy of mind, are overlooked since the present knowledge of the psychological process is not taken into consideration. With this, the authors present the claim that Gibson’s claim to have attained a central reformulation of the philosophy of mind cant be continued. The article claims that Gibson’s explanation of perception is unfilled unless the ideas of undeviating pickup, as well as those of the invariant, are constrained suitably. Furthermore, Gibson fails to show a practical way of arresting the constraints vital in his hypothesis that perception is unswerving. The critique notes that Gibson does not face the difficulty in explaining if not by inference, then how one gets from what they pick up concerning light to what they see concerning the environment that the object comes from. The authors point out that Gibson states that the information obtained from the setting is stored in the ambient array. Gibson’s effort to confine the concept of picking up leads to the idea that information is found in light. The article claims that Gibson on this end faces a problem where he has no means of creating the idea of data being present in the ambient display that can permit one to pick up this information without psychological analysis. The premise is that numerous constraints are present in the theory that Gibson does not take into account.

Fodor and Pylyshyn’s (1981) critique features a rebuttal of the primary problem of visual perception. Their article notes that the approximation of the primary problem has to take into consideration the question of how humans use the available light in the environment to make them see. Gibson fails to take into account this question as there is a computational process that takes place between the taking in of information from light and making sense of it in the long run.

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