Social understanding through direct perception? Yes, by interacting

Consciousness and Cognition 18 (2):535-542 (2009)
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Abstract

This paper comments on Gallagher’s recently published direct perception proposal about social cognition [Gallagher, S.. Direct perception in the intersubjective context. Consciousness and Cognition, 17, 535–543]. I show that direct perception is in danger of being appropriated by the very cognitivist accounts criticised by Gallagher. Then I argue that the experiential directness of perception in social situations can be understood only in the context of the role of the interaction process in social cognition. I elaborate on the role of social interaction with a discussion of participatory sense-making to show that direct perception, rather than being a perception enriched by mainly individual capacities, can be best understood as an interactional phenomenon.

Author's Profile

Hanne De Jaegher
University of the Basque Country

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