Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 369–382 | Cite as

Perception: Mirror-Image or Action?



In the article two viewpoints on the mind’s influence on perception are considered. One of them was developed on the assumption that perception is a nonproblematic source of knowledge about the world, which is free from mind’s influence—perception as a mirror-image. Another viewpoint is perception as action, i.e. active search and gathering the relevant information, its processing and evaluation. First viewpoint has dominated in philosophy for a long time, the second one has been developing in psychology from the 80th of the 20th century. The aim of the paper is to examine some philosophically significant corollaries from both positions concerning objectiveness, epistemological status of an observation, truth, meaning of name. Analysis showed that perception as action is non-compatible with many traditional concepts, and it goes both against empiricism and against realism as it involves some critical arguments, e.g. theory ladenness of observations, underdetermination of theory by facts, the historical development of a scientific fact.


Observation Theory ladenness Transition from sensation to substance 



I would like to thank Hans Radder, Professor of philosophy of science and technology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for helpful suggestions to improve this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Institute of Philosophy and LawNovosibirskRussia

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