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.
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