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PublicationPerception as Unconscious Interference*(2001-04-01) Hatfield, Gary; Hatfield, GarySince antiquity, visual theorists have variously proposed that perception (usually vision) results from unconscious inference. This paper reviews historical and recent theories of unconscious inferences, in order to make explicit their commitments to inferential cognitive processes. In particular, it asks whether the comparison of perception with inference has been intended metaphorically or literally. It then focuses on the literal theories, and assesses their resources for responding to three problems that arise when visual perception is explained as resulting from unconscious inference: the cognitive machinery problem, the sophisticated content problem, and the phenomenal problem. PublicationAttention in Early Scientific Psychology(1995-11-01) Hatfield, Gary; Hatfield, GaryAttention only “recently”--i.e. in the eighteenth century-- achieved chapter status in psychology textbooks in which psychology is conceived as a natural science. This report first sets this entrance, by sketching the historical contexts in which psychology has been considered to be a natural science. It then traces the construction of phenomenological descriptions of attention, and compares selected theoretical and empirical developments in the study of attention over three time slices: mid-eighteenth century, turn of the twentieth century, and late twentieth century. Significant descriptive, theoretical, and empirical continuity emerges when these developments are considered in the large. This continuity is open to several interpretations, including the view that attention research shows long-term convergence because it is conditioned by the basic structure of attention as a natural phenomenon, and the less optimistic view that theory making in at least this area of psychology has been remarkably conservative when considered under large grain resolution, consisting in the reshuffling of a few core ideas. PublicationPsychology as a Natural Science in the Eighteenth Century(1994-05-01) Hatfield, Gary; Hatfield, GaryPsychology considered as a natural science began as Aristotelian “physics” or “natural philosophy” of the soul. C. Wolff placed psychology under metaphysics, coordinate with cosmology. Scottish thinkers placed it within moral philosophy, but distinguished its “physical” laws from properly moral laws (for guiding conduct). Several Germans sought to establish an autonomous empirical Psychology as a branch of natural science. British and French visual theorists developed mathematically precise theories of size and distance perception; they created instruments to test these theories and to measure visual phenomena such as the duration of visual impressions. These investigators typically were dualists who included mental phenomena within nature. PublicationRemaking the Science of Mind: Psychology as Natural Science(1994-09-01) Hatfield, Gary; Hatfield, GaryPsychology considered as a natural science began as Aristotelian “physics” or “natural philosophy” of the soul. C. Wolff placed psychology under metaphysics, coordinate with cosmology. Near the middle of the eighteenth century, Krueger, Godart, and Bonnet proposed approaching the mind with the techniques of the new natural science. At nearly the same time, Scottish thinkers placed psychology within moral philosophy, but distinguished its “physical” laws from properly moral laws (for guiding conduct). British and French visual theorists developed mathematically precise theories of size and distance perception; they created instruments to test these theories and to measure visual phenomena such as the duration of visual impressions. By the end of the century there was a flourishing discipline of empirical psychology in Germany, with professorships, textbooks, and journals. The practitioners of empirical psychology at this time typically were dualists who included mental phenomena within nature. PublicationPsychology Old and New(2001-01-01) Hatfield, Gary; Hatfield, GaryPsychology as the study of mind was an established subject matter throughout the nineteenth century in Britain, Germany, France, and the United States, taught in colleges and universities and made the subject of books and treatises. During the period 1870-1914 this existing discipline of psychology was being transformed into a new, experimental science, especially in Germany and the United States. The increase in experimentation changed the body of psychological writing, although there remained considerable continuity in theoretical content and non-experimental methodology between the old and new psychologies. This paper follows the emergence of the new psychology out of the old in the national traditions of Britain (primarily England), Germany, and the United States, with some reference to French, Belgian, Austrian, and Italian thinkers. The final section considers some methodological and philosophical issues in these literatures. PublicationBehaviorism and Naturalism*(2001-01-01) Hatfield, Gary; Hatfield, GaryBehaviorism as a school of psychology was founded by John B. Watson, and grew into the neobehaviorisms of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Philosophers were involved from the start, prefiguring the movement and endeavoring to define or redefine its tenets. Behaviorism expressed the naturalistic bent in American thought, which opposed the then prevailing philosophical idealism and was inspired by developments in natural science itself, especially biology. This naturalism was not materialistic; it viewed mind as a part of nature from a Darwinian and functionalist perspective. Although Watson adopted a strict materialism, other behaviorists, including Tolman, Hull, and Skinner, were biologically oriented and rejected materialism and physicalist reduction. After the 1940s the character of philosophical naturalism in America changed. The physicalism of some logical empiricists and Quine became prominent, and behaviorism was philosophically reinterpreted in physicalist terms. PublicationThe Workings of the Intellect: Mind and Psychology(1996-04-01) Hatfield, Gary; Hatfield, GaryThis paper examines the importance of the theory of intellectual cognition in the development of early modern philosophy. It compares three conceptions of the intellect, held respectively by some scholastic Aristotelians, Descartes, and Locke. Examination of these three cases provides an opportunity to locate early modern discussions of the cognitive faculties in relation to recent understandings of psychology, epistemology, logic, mind, and their relations. The early modern discussions are not easily fit into the modern categories of epistemology and psychology. Reflection on this fact may help us to delimit more precisely and to see some problems in recent concepts of naturalism in relation to philosophy and psychology. PublicationThe Brain's "New" Science: Psychology, Neurophysiology, and Constraint*(2001-01-01) Hatfield, Gary; Hatfield, GaryThere is a strong philosophical intuition that direct study of the brain can and will constrain the development of psychological theory. When this intuition is tested against case studies from the psychology of perception and memory, it turns out that psychology has led the way toward knowledge of neurophysiology. An abstract argument is developed to show that psychology can and must lead the way in neuroscientific study of mental function. The counterintuition is based on mainly weak arguments about the fundamentality or objectivity of physics or physiology in relation to psychology.