References

Stratton, G. M. (1896). Some preliminary experiments on vision without inversion of the retinal image. Psychological Review, 3, 611-617. Stratton, G. M. (1897). Vision without inversion of the retinal image. Psychological Review, 4, 341-360. von Holst, E., & Mittelstaedt, H. (1950). Das reafferenz-prinzip. Die Naturwissenschaften, 20, 464-467. Kohler, I. (1962). Experiments with goggles. Scientific American, 206, 62-72.

REALISM, DOCTRINE OF. The philosophical doctrine of realism, advanced initially by the Greek philosopher Plato (c. 427-347 B.C.), states that abstract concepts have a real and coherent existence and contain a greater genuine reality than the physical objects to which they refer and, thus, are open to empirical investigation (cf., the doctrine of nominalism, which states that abstract ideas/concepts have no objective reality and, therefore, are not legitimate entities for scientific study; nominalists argue that reality consists only of objective entities, and constructs such as "society," "mind," and "personality" are lacking in scientific validity). The doctrine of realism may be contrasted with the doctrine of idealism; i.e., the notion that the ultimate reality is mental and such mental representation forms the basis of all knowledge and experience (thus, idealism makes it meaningless to refer to the existence of things independent of their perception and experiencing by a conscious observer). The doctrine of realism posits, also, that the physical world has a reality separate from perception and mind. In the history of psychology and philosophy, the doctrine of realism is associated, often, with the writings of the Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid (1710-1790) and the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), as was used in either of two ways: abstract concepts have a real existence, and the physical world has a reality separate from that of the mind. Due to its comparison with many other theoretical positions, the doctrine of realism is defined mainly by "contrast" and, as with many such philosophical and psychological terms, realism may apply only to some aspects of a viewpoint and may be understood by its juxtaposition to various other contrasting terms (e.g, nominalism, conceptualism, idealism, phenomenalism, and anti-realism). More recently, the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) used the term realism in some of his works to describe a young child's belief that his/her perceptual perspective is shared by other individuals. Thus the doctrine of realism is a psychological concept, as well as a philosophical point of view, and refers to cognitive processes, arguing that perception makes direct contact with objects in the world, as opposed to representational theories that argue that perception is of mental copies of objects, and not the objects themselves. See also CONCEPT LEARNING AND CONCEPT FORMATION, THEORIES OF; IMAGERY/ MENTAL IMAGERY, THEORIES OF; LEARNING THEORIES/LAWS; PERCEPTION (II. COMPARATIVE APPRAISAL), THEORIES OF; PIAGET'S THEORY OF DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES. REFERENCES

Piaget, J. (1954). The construction of reality in the child. New York: Basic Books. Veatch, H. (1954). Realism and nominalism revisited. New York: Basic Books.

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