David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):317 - 347 (2004)
Most psychology begins with a distinction between organism and environment, where the two are implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) conceptualized as flipsides of a skin-severed space. This paper examines that conceptualization. Dewey and Bentley's (1949) account of firm naming is used to show that psychologists have, in general, (1) employed the skin as a morphological criterion for distinguishing organisms from backgrounds, and (2) equated background with environment. This two-step procedure, which in this article is named the morphological conception of organism, is shown to inform the writings of the well-known psychologist B. F. Skinner. A review of difficulties with the morphological conception is followed with a review and preliminary integration of four attempts at an alternative conception of organism, and thus environment. Together, these four attempts converge on an analysis of living systems as transdermal (through and across skin) processes only within which organism and environment are distinguishable as complementary phases. The notion of a biological total process, or bioprocess, is employed to clarify this alternative analysis, in which an organism is an ongoing organization rather than a skin-bound body.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Marshall Abrams (2009). Fitness “Kinematics”: Biological Function, Altruism, and Organism–Environment Development. Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):487-504.
Timo Jarvilehto (2000). Feeling as Knowing--Part I: Emotion as Reorganization of the Organism-Environment System. Consciousness and Emotion 1 (2):245-257.
Timo Jarvilehto, The Theory of the Organism-Environment System: II. Significance of Nervous Activity in the Organism-Environment System.
Timo Jarvilehto (1999). The Theory of the Organism-Environment System: III. Role of Efferent Influences on Receptors in the Formation of Knowledge. Philosophical Explorations.
Marshall Abrams (2007). Fitness and Propensity's Annulment? Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):115-130.
Mark Rowlands (1995). Against Methodological Solipsism: The Ecological Approach. Philosophical Psychology 8 (1):5-24.
Trevor Pearce (2010). From 'Circumstances' to 'Environment': Herbert Spencer and the Origins of the Idea of Organism–Environment Interaction. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (3):241-252.
Jack A. Wilson (2000). Ontological Butchery: Organism Concepts and Biological Generalizations. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):311.
José-Leonel Torres & Lynn Trainor (2008). On Organism: Environment Buffers and Their Ecological Significance. Biology and Philosophy 23 (3):403-416.
Richard Lewontin, The Genotype/Phenotype Distinction. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Paul Griffiths, The Distinction Between Innate and Acquired Characteristics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Timo Jarvilehto (2000). The Theory of the Organism-Environment System: The Problem of Mental Activity and Consciousness. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science 35 (1):35-57.
Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi (2002). Surrounding Space. Theory in Biosciences 121:139-162.
Fred A. Keijzer (1998). Doing Without Representations Which Specify What to Do. Philosophical Psychology 11 (3):269-302.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads12 ( #130,070 of 1,102,812 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #84,523 of 1,102,812 )
How can I increase my downloads?