Perception and Illusion - Historical Perspectives
by Nicholas J. Wade
This volume traces the history of thinking about perception from its early philosophical roots to the modern laboratory.
Some of the questions it considers have been asked since antiquity - Is what we see the truth? Are everyone’s perceptual experiences the same? What is the nature of infants’ perception? What kinds of mistakes are made in perceiving? Can perceptual experience be communicated to others?
The author sets the groundwork with an explanation of the five senses and how science has come to observe them. He also explores the idea of perceptual error which becomes the lens through which the study of perception is viewed.
This examination of perception is described in chapters devoted to historical periods from the Greeks to the present time following themes of adaptation and how the senses are linked to an intricately organized brain which not only helps us perceive what is necessary for survival, but also creates links from the patterns of sensory stimulation to language and thought.