Review of my paper Gestalt Isomorphism and the Primacy of the Subjective Conscious Experience: A Gestalt bubble model.

date: mon, 12 feb 2001 17:57:26 +0000 (gmt)
from: stevan harnad
to: steven lehar
subject: bbs disposition letter: lehar/isomorphism

dear dr. lehar,

appended below are the four bbs referee reports on your manuscript: "gestalt isomorphism and the primacy of the subjective conscious experience: the gestalt bubble model"

the reports indicate that your manuscript is potentially acceptable if you can successfully revise it in accordance with the referees' recommendations (which i will summarize below). bbs policy under these conditions is that the revised manuscript must be re-refereed and must be accompanied by a detailed, itemized statement of how and where in the revised draft each referee's specific points have been accommodated.

to help focus your revision, i have capitalized the points in the referee reports that particularly call for attention.

to summarize:

a good deal of highly pertinent current and classical work in both the empirical and philosophical literature on perception and representation (including contrary data and prior critiques of philosophical positions like the one proposed here) has been overlooked and needs to be taken explicitly into account in your revision.

the referees ask you to clarify numerous ambiguities in your model on which both empirical/functional and philosophical questions hinge. what is needed is an explicit empirical/theoretical comparison with specific rivals. you must be specific: this draft is often criticized as a "text-book" level treatment rather than taking into account the concrete details that the actual researchers who will be the commentators are concerned about.

for the details, please see the 4 thoughtful referee reports.

i hope you will accept the challenge to revise your paper. most ultimately accepted bbs papers first undergo major revision. this is necessary not only to ensure the quality of bbs target articles, but also to protect authors from running the gauntlet of open peer commentary before being adequately forearmed. the "mini-treatment" consisting of the bbs referee reports tends to provide a fair sample of what a paper is likely to encounter in commentary; and so experience has dictated that to elicit commentary that is constructive and useful to the author as well as to the field, a paper must fully accommodate these prima facie criticisms in advance.

i would also like to recommend that, before resubmitting to bbs, you take advantage of a new intermediate medium for "test-piloting" material that is being prepared for bbs. psycoloquy is bbs's electronic counterpart: a refereed electronic journal sponsored by the american psychological association that specialises in shorter target articles for open peer commentary in much more rapid, global and interactive form (dubbed "scholarly skywriting") than the print medium permits. target articles accepted by psycoloquy are immediately edited, archived on the web, and circulated around the world to the journal's readership, who may then submit comments (which likewise appear as soon as they have been refereed and accepted). psycoloquy commentary can be very valuable in revising a bbs target article. more and more bbs target articles follow successful psycoloquy treatments (koehler, wright, pulvermueller, fitch & denenberg, glenberg, etc.).

please inform us of how you intend to proceed, and according to what timetable.


stevan harnad
editor, bbs

Author's General Response

Reviewer 1

Authors Response to Reviewer 1

Reviewer 2

Authors Response to Reviewer 2

Reviewer 3

Authors Response to Reviewer 3

Reviewer 4

Authors Response to Reviewer 4