, Volume 129, Issue 1, pp 3–40 | Cite as

Perception And Action: Alternative Views

  • Susan Hurley


A traditional view of perception and action makestwo assumptions: that the causal flow betweenperception and action is primarily linear or one-way,and that they are merely instrumentally related toeach other, so that each is a means to the other.Either or both of these assumptions can be rejected.Behaviorism rejects the instrumental but not theone-way aspect of the traditional view, thus leavingitself open to charges of verificationism. Ecologicalviews reject the one-way aspect but not theinstrumental aspect of the traditional view, so thatperception and action are seen as instrumentallyinterdependent. It is argued here that a betteralternative is to reject both assumptions, resultingin a two-level interdependence view in whichperception and action co-depend on dynamicallycircular subpersonal relations and as a result may bemore than merely instrumentally interdependent. Thisis illustrated by reference to motor theories ofperception and control theories of action.


Control Theory Traditional View Alternative View Motor Theory Causal Flow 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Hurley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Warwick PAISCoventry

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