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Bergson, perception and Gibson

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Abstract:

Bergson's 1896 theory of perception/memory assumed a framework anticipating the quantum revolution in physics, the still unrealized implications of this framework contributing to the large neglect of Bergson today. The basics of his model are explored, including the physical concepts he advanced before the crisis in classical physics, his concept of perception as ‘virtual action’ with its relativistic implications, and his unique explication of the subject/object relationship. All form the basis for his solution to the ‘hard’ problem. The relation between Bergson and Gibson as natural complements is also explored, with Bergson providing the framework that explicates Gibson's concept of direct perception, with Gibson's resonance model as a precursor to dynamic systems models of the brain and his reliance on invariance laws defining perceived events providing more detail for the mechanisms Bergson only envisioned from afar, and with Bergson providing the basis for an otherwise missing Gibsonian model of direct memory.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Advanced Product Engineering, M and I Data Services, 10850 W. Park Place PP12, Milwaukee, WI 53224, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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