Sunday, September 26, 2010

So, Gibson's not *that* dismissive

Gibson writes,
I am also asking the reader to suppose that the concept of space has nothing to do with perception. Geometrical space is a pure abstraction. . . . Space is a myth, a ghost, a fiction for geometers. (Gibson, 1979, p. 3).
Ok.  Now that seems pretty dismissive of geometry to me, but I think that Andrew and Gary are probably right that this is a bit hyperbolic.  Gibson apparently does not want to go so far as to not use geometry in his scientific thinking.  After all, it looks as though he implicitly needs at least some geometry, and maybe even some Euclidean geometry (but not necessarily Cartesian co-ordinates), to determine how the ambient optic array changes when a person goes from sitting to standing.
From Gibson, 1979, p. Figure 5.4.

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