chapter  17
14 Pages

Some Neo-Gestalt Psychologies and Their Relation to Gestalt Psychology

The present decade has seen revived interest in problems raised by Gestalt psychologists some three-quarters of a century ago. In 1981 Michael Kubovy and James R. Pomerantz prefaced their edited volume with the remark: “ This is the first volume devoted to perceptual organization since Kohler’s last book, The Task o f Gestalt Psychology, was published in 1969” (1981, p. x). Soon after the publication of Kubovy and Pomerantz’s collection, Jacob Beck edited a volume on Organization and Representation in Perception (1982). These books may be taken as representative of a now substantial literature on perceptual organization. In the collections mentioned, several authors explicitly label themselves Gestalt psychologists with specific qualifications. In these cases and others, I will raise the question: What is their relation to Gestalt psychology? I will consider a variety of issues that arise in connection with these new efforts to deal with problems of organization. My treatment will be selective confining itself, for example, to visual perception and resisting the temptation to go beyond-or

even to cover completely-the two collections in question, since too many issues arise for adequate treatment in a single chapter.