Ideas in Exile
The Struggles of an Upright Man
Influenced by Karl Buhler’s biologically motivated concern with the success of organisms in their world, Brunswik’s research in the 1920s and 1930s aimed at studying “perceptual achievement” in the presence of ambiguous cues. The three traditional perceptual constancies — size, shape, and color — were the prototype for achievement. There is a sophisticated image in which Brunswik’s ideas basically boil down to three correlations and one unorthodoxy. The correlations are functional validities, ecological validities, and cue utilization coefficients. However, there is another view of Brunswik: opposition by neglect. The opposition takes the form of silence and a lack of understanding of what the fuss is all about. This chapter describes Egon Brunswik, not thinking of correlations, but rather on the struggles of an upright man.
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