Frontiers in Psychology 11:1285 (2020)

Amanda Corris
Wake Forest University
Enactivism and ecological psychology converge on the relevance of the environment in understanding perception and action. On both views, perceiving organisms are not merely passive receivers of environmental stimuli, but rather form a dynamic relationship with their environments in such a way that shapes how they interact with the world. In this paper, I suggest that while enactivism and ecological psychology enjoy a shared specification of the environment as the cognitive domain, on both accounts, the structure of the environment, itself, is unspecified beyond that of contingent relations with the species-typical sensorimotor capacities of perceiving organisms. This lack of specification creates a considerable gap in theory regarding the organization of organisms as coupled with their environments. I argue that this gap can be filled by drawing from resources in developmental systems theory, namely, specifying the environmental state-space as a developmental niche that shapes and is shaped by individual organisms over developmental and, on a population scale, evolutionary time. Defining the environment as an organism’s developmental niche makes it clearer how and why certain contingencies have arisen, in turn, strengthening a joint appeal to both enactivism and ecological psychology as theories asserting complementarity between organisms and their environments.
Keywords enactivism  ecological psychology  developmental systems theory  developmental niche  naturalization of perception
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01285
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

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

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Human Nature and Cognitive–Developmental Niche Construction.Karola Stotz - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):483-501.
The Organism in Developmental Systems Theory.Thomas Pradeu - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (3):216-222.
What is the Extension of the Extended Mind?Hajo Greif - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4311-4336.
A Developmental Systems Account of Human Nature.Karola Stotz & Paul Edmund Griffiths - 2018 - In Tim Lewens & Elizabeth Hannon (eds.), Why we disagree about human nature. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 00-00.


Added to PP index

Total views
178 ( #67,889 of 2,533,482 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #30,301 of 2,533,482 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes