Ecological foundations of cognition. I: Symmetry and specificity of animal-environment systems
Ontological and methodological constraints on a theory of cognition that would generalize across species are identified. Within these constraints, ecological arguments for (a) animal-environment mutuality and reciprocity and (b) the necessary specificity of structured energy distributions to environmental facts are developed as counterpoints to the classical doctrines of animal-environment dualism and intractable nonspecificity. Implications of (a) and (b) for a cognitive theory consistent with Gibson's programme of ecological psychology are identified and contrasted with contemporary cognitivism.
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