Re: Gestalt criticisms (Paul von Hippel -- Ohio State )

Subject: Re: Gestalt criticisms
From:    Paul von Hippel -- Ohio State  <pvh(at)CCRMA.STANFORD.EDU>
Date:    Mon, 20 Sep 1999 19:51:32 +0000

Three weeks ago I posted a request for review articles surveying the critiques that have been applied to Gestalt psychology. Many thanks to the list members who have replied. Helpful as the replies were, I wish to renew my request, emphasizing the particular types of criticism that concern me. Most of the replies related to specific physiological claims made by the original Gestalt psychologists. The criticisms that I wondered about, however, were more sweeping. For example, Goldstein (1996, p. 190), in his textbook on *Sensation and Perception*, writes that, "while today's perceptual psychologists continue to be influenced by many of the principles originated by the Gestalt psychologists, they have also criticized the approach on a number of grounds." Goldstein then goes on to present arguments that Gestalt principles can be defined rather vaguely, and that Gestalt explanations are often after-the-fact. Goldstein does not present these arguments as his own, but he doesn't attribute them to anyone more specific than "today's perceptual psychologists." My question, then, is who these modern critics are, and where I can find their criticisms discussed in more detail. Best, Paul ------------------ Paul T. von Hippel Post-Doctoral Fellow School of Music The Ohio State University 1866 College Road Columbus, OH 43210 e-mail: von-hippel.1(at) (You can also reach me by simply replying to this message. All my mail is forwarded to the same final destination.)

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