Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter begins with a sketch of the empirical, theoretical, and philosophical background to nineteenth-century theories of perception, focusing on visual perception. It then considers German sensory physiology and psychology in the nineteenth century and its reception. This section gives special attention to: assumptions about nerve–sensation relations; spatial perception; the question of whether there is a two-dimensional representation in visual experience; psychophysics; size constancy; and theories of colour perception. The chapter then offers a brief look at the interaction between perceptual theory and philosophical issues in epistemology and the metaphysics of mind in Britain and America, focusing on: the notion of a muscle sense; the problem of the external world; and forms of perceptual realism. It ends with an overview of psychological theories of perception in the early twentieth century and the Gestalt reaction, culminating with J. J. Gibson.

Keywords: colour perception, German psychology, Gestalt psychology, James J. Gibson, William Hamilton, problem of the external world, psychophysics, representative realism, size constancy, spatial perception

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.