Encountering the World

Encountering the World : Toward an Ecological Psychology

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Description

Encountering the World reorients modern psychology by finding a viable middle ground between the study of nerve cells and cultural analysis. The emerging field of ecological psychology focuses on the "human niche" and our uniquely evolved modes of action and interaction. Rejecting both mechanistic cognitive science and reductionistic neuroscience, the author offers a new psychology that combines ecological and experimental methods to help us better understand the ways in which people and animals make their way through the world. The book provides a comprehensive treatment of ecological psychology and a unique synthesis of the work of Darwin, neural Darwinism, and modern ecologists with James Gibson's approach to perception. The author presents detailed discussions on communication, sociality, cognition, and language - topics often overlooked by ecological psychologists. Other issues covered include ecological approaches to animal behaviour, neural mechanisms, perception, action, and interaction. Provocative and controversial, Encountering the World makes a significant contribution to the debate over the nature of psychology.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 163.6 x 243.3 x 18.8mm | 508.03g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • halftones, line figures
  • 0195073010
  • 9780195073010
  • 971,184

Review quote

"Reed's book is an intense, sustained, and thought-provoking exposition of a highly original theory...If Encountering the World leads us to interrogate our faith in the theoretical underpinnings of psychology and to be more naturalistic and less individualistic in our methods of study, it will have succeeded admirably."--Contemporary Psychology"Reed's ideas provide a valuable. . .corrective to the postmodernist view of the tenuous relationship between experience and the real world."--Choice"For those whose scientific focus is on complex systems, one of the more imposing challenges lies in understanding human behavior and cognition. . . . Ed Reed's . . . relatively slim volume is rich in conceptual development and offers a philosophically sound perspective on a comprehensive range of psychological issues. . . . This treatment of psychology could support a venture into dynamical modeling of behavior and cognition. It is primarily a descriptive treatment that steers away from any discussion of how the nervous system accomplishes what it does. There is, however, explanatory value in the use of selectionist principles to account for the development of human capabilities (in phylogenetic time) and of behavioral organization (in ontogenetic time). . . . I believe that many readers of this journal will find this an insightful treatment and one they will be able to integrate comfortably into their own perspective on organization of complex systems."--Complexity "Reed's book is an intense, sustained, and thought-provoking exposition of a highly original theory...If Encountering the World leads us to interrogate our faith in the theoretical underpinnings of psychology and to be more naturalistic and less individualistic in our methods of study, it will have succeeded admirably."--Contemporary Psychology"Reed's ideas provide a valuable. . .corrective to the postmodernist view of the tenuous relationship between experience and the real world."--Choice"For those whose scientific focus is on complex systems, one of the more imposing challenges lies in understanding human behavior and cognition. . . . Ed Reed's . . . relatively slim volume is rich in conceptual development and offers a philosophically sound perspective on a comprehensive range of psychological issues. . . . This treatment of psychology could support a venture into dynamical modeling of behavior and cognition. It is primarily a descriptive treatment that steers away from any discussion of how the nervous system accomplishes what it does. There is, however, explanatory value in the use of selectionist principles to account for the development of human capabilities (in phylogenetic time) and of behavioral organization (in ontogenetic time). . . . I believe that many readers of this journal will find this an insightful treatment and one they will be able to integrate comfortably into their own perspective on organization of complex systems."--Complexity "Reed's book is an intense, sustained, and thought-provoking exposition of a highly original theory...If Encountering the World leads us to interrogate our faith in the theoretical underpinnings of psychology and to be more naturalistic and less individualistic in our methods of study, it will have succeeded admirably."--Contemporary Psychology "Reed's ideas provide a valuable. . .corrective to the postmodernist view of the tenuous relationship between experience and the real world."--Choice "For those whose scientific focus is on complex systems, one of the more imposing challenges lies in understanding human behavior and cognition. . . . Ed Reed's . . . relatively slim volume is rich in conceptual development and offers a philosophically sound perspective on a comprehensive range of psychological issues. . . . This treatment of psychology could support a venture into dynamical modeling of behavior and cognition. It is primarily a descriptive treatment that steers away from any discussion of how the nervous system accomplishes what it does. There is, however, explanatory value in the use of selectionist principles to account for the development of human capabilities (in phylogenetic time) and of behavioral organization (in ontogenetic time). . . . I believe that many readers of this journal will find this an insightful treatment and one they will be able to integrate comfortably into their own perspective on organization of complex systems."--Complexity "Reed's book is an intense, sustained, and thought-provoking exposition of a highly original theory...If Encountering the World leads us to interrogate our faith in the theoretical underpinnings of psychology and to be more naturalistic and less individualistic in our methods of study, it will have succeeded admirably."--Contemporary Psychology "Reed's ideas provide a valuable. . .corrective to the postmodernist view of the tenuous relationship between experience and the real world."--Choice "For those whose scientific focus is on complex systems, one of the more imposing challenges lies in understanding human behavior and cognition. . . . Ed Reed's . . . relatively slim volume is rich in conceptual development and offers a philosophically sound perspective on a comprehensive range of psychological issues. . . . This treatment of psychology could support a venture into dynamical modeling of behavior and cognition. It is primarily a descriptive treatment that steers away from any discussion of how the nervous system accomplishes what it does. There is, however, explanatory value in the use of selectionist principles to account for the development of human capabilities (in phylogenetic time) and of behavioral organization (in ontogenetic time). . . . I believe that many readers of this journal will find this an insightful treatment and one they will be able to integrate comfortably into their own perspective on organization of complex systems."--Complexity "Reed's book is an intense, sustained, and thought-provoking exposition of a highly original theory...If Encountering the World leads us to interrogate our faith in the theoretical underpinnings of psychology and to be more naturalistic and less individualistic in our methods of study, it will havesucceeded admirably."--Contemporary Psychology"Reed's ideas provide a valuable. . .corrective to the postmodernist view of the tenuous relationship between experience and the real world."--Choice"For those whose scientific focus is on complex systems, one of the more imposing challenges lies in understanding human behavior and cognition. . . . Ed Reed's . . . relatively slim volume is rich in conceptual development and offers a philosophically sound perspective on a comprehensive range ofpsychological issues. . . . This treatment of psychology could support a venture into dynamical modeling of behavior and cognition. It is primarily a descriptive treatment that steers away from any discussion of how the nervous system accomplishes what it does. There is, however, explanatory valuein the use of selectionist principles to account for the development of human capabilities (in phylogenetic time) and of behavioral organization (in ontogenetic time). . . . I believe that many readers of this journal will find this an insightful treatment and one they will be able to integratecomfortably into their own perspective on organization of complex systems."--Complexityshow more

About Edward S. Reed

Edward S. Reed, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychology at Franklin & Marshall College. His research on ecological psychology has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institute on Disabilities and Rehabilitation, and a Guggenheim fellowship.show more

Back cover copy

Encountering the World reorients modern psychology by finding a viable middle ground between the study of nerve cells and cultural analysis. The emerging field of ecological psychology focuses on the "human niche" and our uniquely evolved modes of action and interaction. Rejecting both mechanistic cognitive science and reductionistic neuroscience, the author offers a new psychology that combines ecological and experimental methods to help us better understand the ways in which people and animals make their way through the world. This book provides a comprehensive treatment of ecological psychology and a unique synthesis of the work of Darwin, neural Darwinism, and modern ecologists with James Gibson's approach to perception. The author presents detailed discussions on communication, sociality, cognition, and language - topics often overlooked by ecological psychologists. Other issues covered include ecological approaches to animal behavior, neural mechanisms, perception, action, and interaction. Provocative and controversial, Encountering the World makes a significant contribution to the debate over the nature of psychology.show more

Table of contents

1. regulation vs. Construction ; 2. An Evolutionary Psychology ; 3. Affordances: A New Ecology for Psychology ; 4. The Importance of Information ; 5. Functional Systems and the Mechanisms of Behavior ; 6. Varieties of Action Systems ; 7. The Effort After Value and Meaning ; 8. The Human Environment ; 9. Becoming a Person ; 10. The Daily Life of the Mind ; 11. Entering the Linguistic Environment ; 12. Streams of Thoughtshow more

Rating details

9 ratings
4.77 out of 5 stars
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4 22% (2)
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