The natural and the normative: theories of spatial by Gary Hatfield

By Gary Hatfield

Gary Hatfield examines theories of spatial belief from the 17th to the 19th century and offers a close research of the works of Kant and Helmholtz, who followed opposing stances on no matter if critical questions about spatial notion have been amenable to natural-scientific remedy. At stake have been the right kind figuring out of the relationships between sensation, conception, and adventure, and the right kind methodological framework for investigating the psychological actions of judgment, figuring out, and cause matters which stay on the middle of philosophical psychology and cognitive technological know-how. Hatfield provides those vital matters as residing philosophies of technological know-how that form and are formed via real examine courses, making a complicated and interesting photo of the whole nineteenth-century conflict among nativism and empiricism. His exam of Helmholtz's paintings in physiological optics and epistemology is a travel de strength. Gary Hatfield is affiliate Professor of Philosophy on the collage of Pennsylvania.

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Extra resources for The natural and the normative: theories of spatial perception from Kant to Helmholtz

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The preface of a first book provides an opportunity to offer special thanks to one's teachers. In addition to those already mentioned, I owe a special debt to my father, Chandler B. Hatfield, for teaching me many things, large and small, and to Mira Merriman and Phillip Thomas, for teaching me to think historically while encouraging me to pursue work in both the humanities and natural science. Finally, I am grateful to Rose Ann Christian for her patience and for her critical green pen. Page 1 Chapter 1 Introduction Can there be an empirical science of the mind?

The long past consists of both a nonscientific prehistory of scientific psychology in philosophy, which stretches back to the Greeks, and a scientific prehistory in physiology. Within this prehistory, most histories of psychology allot the largest space to the writings of early modern philosophers. 9 Standard histories agree that what marks the beginnings of psychology as a science, distinguishing it from earlier philosophical treatments of mental phenomena, is that, whereas philosophers remained in their armchairs, psychologists ventured into the laboratory.

8 Such hopes may well reveal the continuing influence of the vision expressed by authors such as Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Helmholtz, each of whom posited a strong connection between theories of mind and the substantive doctrines of the sciences. Throughout the twentieth century their Page 4 works have served as benchmarks that orient discussion in epistemology and philosophy of mind. Because they enjoy a heroic status, their vision lends credence to grand claims for the intellectual benefits expected from the science of the mind.

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