SAAP Annual Meeting 2015

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Edwin B. Holt: Between Radical Empiricism and Ecological Psychology

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This paper draws on the resources of the largely forgotten 20th century psychologist and philosopher, Edwin B. Holt, to help resolve a debate at the heart of contemporary ecological psychology: are affordances properties or relations? The paper is thus divided in two sections: (1) an historical account, following Heft (2001), which situates Edwin B. Holt as the hinge connecting William James’s radical empiricism and James Gibson’s ecological psychology. (2) an argument, following Chemero (2003), that a Jamesean/Holtian account of relations provides the necessary conceptual resources to settle the debate in favor of the affordances-as-relations view.


Joshua August Skorburg    
University of Oregon
United States


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