Ecological psychology is radical enough: A reply to radical enactivists

Philosophical Psychology 32 (7):1001-1023 (2019)
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Abstract

Ecological psychology is one of the most influential theories of perception in the embodied, anti-representational, and situated cognitive sciences. However, radical enactivists claim that Gibsonians tend to describe ecological information and its ‘pick up’ in ways that make ecological psychology close to representational theories of perception and cognition. Motivated by worries about the tenability of classical views of informational content and its processing, these authors claim that ecological psychology needs to be “RECtified” so as to explicitly resist representational readings. In this paper, we argue against this call for RECtification. To do so, we offer a detailed analysis of the notion of perceptual information and other related notions such as specificity and meaning, as they are presented in the specialized ecological literature. We defend that these notions, if properly understood, remain free of any representational commitment. Ecological psychology, we conclude, does not need to be RECtified.

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Author Profiles

Manuel Heras Escribano
University of the Basque Country
Vicente Raja
University of Western Ontario
Miguel Segundo-Ortin
Utrecht University