Perception without sensations. The “New Psychology” of J. J. Gibson

Adriana Schetz


The paper discusses the development of the new – in 1950-1980 – approach to the visual perception proposed by the American psychologist James J. Gibson. He is known from his skepticism about the category of sensation that emerged within the context of idealistic philosophy, and from his ecological theory of perception, wherein the boundary between the subject and environment is obliterated. However, it is not always noticed that while referring to the Gestalt psychology he formulated a lot of original ideas. His detailed analysis of the ecosystem concept makes him more akin to the Gestalt theorists, despite the fact that his criticism of the Gestalt category seems to suggest the very opposite.


James J. Gibson; perception; ecological theory of perception; gestalt psychology; motor theory of perception; control of action; living retinal image; the senses as perceptual systems; optic array; perceptual invariants

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Roczniki Psychologiczne/Annals of Psychology

ISSN: 1507-7888   e-ISSN: 2451-4306

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