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Action in Perception

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  14 reviews
"Perception is not something that happens to us, or in us," writes Alva No�. "It is something we do." In Action in Perception, No� argues that perception and perceptual consciousness depend on capacities for action and thought--that perception is a kind of thoughtful activity. Touch, not vision, should be our model for perception. Perception is not a process in the brain, ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published January 20th 2006 by Bradford Book (first published January 1st 2005)
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3.83  · 
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 ·  187 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Joshua Stein
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mind, philosophy, science
Noë's book had been out for a while when I picked it up. As a student of philosophy of mind, I knew this was going to be a subject area that I already had strong feelings about, and that I was part of the target audience for the book. The book is clearly written for an audience that has a working familiarity with the contemporary discussion in philosophy of mind, and some of the contemporary cognitive science. Having a working knowledge of the referent material is necessary for reading the book. ...more
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some of this went a little over my head, but I have no background in this field so it's to Noe's credit that I understood it at all. My favorite parts were descriptions of experiments that debunk common myths about perception. I really like the idea that perception is "virtual" - I don't need to maintain a perfect model of objects in my environment to be aware of them. I can always look directly at them if I need more information. It's analogous to being able to find information on the Internet ...more
Grasped in Thought
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best book I've read this year.
Chris Beiser
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really more of a 4.5 stars—it drags in chapters 5 and 6, especially with its dedication to exhaustively countering arguments that might have been better addressed in an endnote. However, the meat of the work is substantial and, to my knowledge, largely original. Readers of James Gibson will recognize his theory of ecological perception at points, but Noë's work goes beyond it at several points.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was... interesting. And confusing. But mostly interesting.
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Embodiment is making through the philosophy of mind, and this book is a great example of how phenomenology can be wisely used to gain important insights concerning the role of action in perception, experience, thought and ultimately conscience itself.
The underlying theme of the book is the idea that experience just does not come to us--we are not passive receivers collecting flows of pre-elaborated information and simply storing it in neural correlates, memories and the likes. Experience, Noe pu
Jun 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Written by someone working out their ideas and I appreciate the honesty but I found the justification of the science tiring. Maybe, that gets scientists going but I just got tired thinking about things that I wasn't interested in.
Chant Cowen
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think this is by far the best written by Alva. Taking a bit from non-analytic philosophical tradition (mainly phenomenology).

Very good book for anyone interested in the philosophy of mind/philosophy of perception, cognitive science, or neuroscience!

Great book!
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
My rating is a HIGH 4 stars. I just finished this with the book cover still smokin'. Review will come shortly.
Oct 09, 2012 marked it as to-read
Touch, not vision, should be our model for perception. Perception is not a process in the brain, but a kind of skillful activity of the body as a whole.
Apr 06, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: brain
proponent of the idea that consciousness does not reside in the brain; recommended by John Kowalko
Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal phenomenology.
Dec 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Hill and Cris gave me this for Christmas, 2008. I knew of Noë from his association with the Francisco Varela/Evan Thompson way of thinking about embodied cognition.

I'll rate it when I read it!
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Alva Noë (born 1964) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. The focus of his work is the theory of perception and consciousness. In addition to these problems in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind, he is interested in phenomenology, the theory of art, Wittgenstein, and the origins of analytic philosophy.