Encountering the World: Toward An Ecological Psychology

By Edward S. Reed | Go to book overview

Conclusion

The human environment is neither a made environment nor a found environment. It is a selected and transformed environment. The human environment is not the environment of one individual, nor is it identical for each and every one of us. The collectivizing of efforts by humans has been so deep and widespread that our environment itself is a populated one, heavily influence by the peculiarities of the people we live among.

As modern humans radiated out from Africa they successfully colonized all of the earth's major terrestrial biomes. Because of this successful colonization, Homo sapiens was not split into many separate envolving populations by geographical barriers. Instead, the success of human adaptive radiation has crated the unusual scenario of a large mammalian species with a worldwide distribution. Yet, ironically, much of this worldwide success is the result not of biological and breeding differences among human populations, but of cultural variations in modes of collective effort, in modes of adapting to the diverse demands of our planet. Hence, although humans as a species are easily the most widely distributed large mammal on earth, we are also highly variable in our local patterns of action, interaction, and awareness. An infant is born to become not just a member of our species, but a member of a particular family, belonging to a particular culture--a special kind of person.

-125-

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Encountering the World: Toward An Ecological Psychology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface and Acknowledgments v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction: the Significance of the Psychological 3
  • 1 - Regulation Versus Construction 9
  • Conclusion: the Fundamental Hypothesis of Ecological Psychology 18
  • 2 - An Evolutionary Psychology 20
  • Conclusion 27
  • 3 - Affordances: A New Ecology for Psychology 29
  • Conclusion: the Evolution of Behavior Among the Affordances of the Environment 45
  • 4 - The Importance of Information 47
  • Conclusion 67
  • 5 - Functional Systems and the Mechanisms of Behavior 68
  • Conclusion 82
  • 6: Varieties of Action Systems 83
  • 7 - The Effort After Value and Meaning 96
  • Conclusion 110
  • 8 - The Human Environment 111
  • Conclusion 125
  • 9 - Becoming a Person 126
  • Conclusion: Becoming A Person and Entering into A Culture 138
  • 10 - The Daily Life of the Mind 140
  • Conclusion 151
  • 11 - Entering the Linguistic Environment 153
  • Conclusion 167
  • 12 - Streams of Thought 169
  • Conclusion 183
  • Epilogue: The Significance of Ecological Psychology 184
  • Conclusion 189
  • References 191
  • Index 207
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