Themes and Recollections

  • John Eliot


In our consideration of the construct of psychological space, we have seen it characterized by both philosophers and psychologists in different ways. With respect to philosophers, there has been a gradual shift of interest from a concern about physical objects in the physical world in classical times, to an interest in mind and symbols which we associate with Hume, Kant, Berkeley, and other Enlightenment thinkers, to a more recent interest in the symbolic vehicles of thought. Within this progression, space has been characterized as a fundamental component of the world (Plato), as one of the ways we experience the physical world (Aristotle), as a necessary characteristic of “thinking matter” and “extended matter” (Descartes), and as a special component of our capacity to acquire knowledge—as an intuition rather than a concept—and a condition of our knowledge of the world as well (Kant). More recently, it has been characterized in terms of sensory cues, clues, attributes associated with objects, as a means for organizing information in terms of Cartesian coordinates, and as an encoding process for responding to spatial information in stimulation.


Spatial Information Physical World Spatial Knowledge Symbolic System Private Speech 
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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Eliot
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Child Study College of EducationThe University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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