Global Perspectives on the Ecology of Human-Machine Systems - Vol. 1

By John Flach; Peter Hancock et al. | Go to book overview
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Chapter 7
Active Psychophysics: The Relation Between Mind and What Matters

John M. Flach Wright State University Armstrong Laboratory Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Rik Warren Armstrong Laboratory Wright-Patterson Air Force Base


7.0 Introduction

"Psychophysics should be understood here as an exact theory of the functionally dependent relations . . . of the physical and psychological worlds. We count as . . . psychological . . . all that can be grasped by introspective observation or that can be abstracted from it; as . . . physical . . . all that can be grasped by observation from the outside or abstracted from it. Insofar as a functional relationship linking body and mind exists, there is actually nothing to keep us from looking at it and pursuing it from the one direction rather than from the other. . . . There is a reason, however, why psychophysics prefers to make the approach from the side of the dependence of the mind on the body rather than the contrary, for it is only the physical that is immediately open to measurement, whereas the measurement of the psychical can be obtained only as dependent on the physical . . . . This reason is decisive; it determines the direction of approach in what follows. . . . lawful relationships, which may be ascertained in the area of outer psychophysics, have their own importance. Based on them . . . physical

-189-

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