This fifth Emory Symposium in Cognition is both like and unlike its predecessors. It resembles them in its recognizably ecological emphasis, as well as in its attempt to integrate the study of adult cognition with that of development. Unlike them, however, its scope is not defined by a traditional field like “memory” or “categorization.” Instead, it is delineated by a more fundamental distinction, that between the self and everything else. William James said it best: “Each of us dichotomizes the Kosmos at a different place” (1890: 290). As perceivers and thinkers, all human beings learn things about both sides of that dichotomy. We perceive, remember, and think about the world around us, but also about ourselves. This book, the first of three projected volumes, deals with perceiving. It focuses on two forms of self perception, the ecological and the interpersonal A companion volume on the remembering self follows soon; a third, still in preparation, will focus on self-concepts.
The self may be a new topic for cognitive psychologists, but not for everyone. Philosophers and psychologists of various persuasions have written about it for many years with considerable insight.