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The Necessity of Experience Paperback – August 11, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Reed (Encountering the World, Oxford Univ., 1996) indicts much of modern thought for ignoring everyday experience. Contrary to what Descartes and his many successors have argued, we are not trapped within our own minds. Quite the contrary, we interact directly with the real world, a vital truth that the pragmatists William James and John Dewey emphasized. In developing his case, Reed makes effective use of the ecological view of perception championed by psychologist James Gibson. For the author, the direct nature of perception is not an arcane issue of epistemology. The position he champions has social implications. In particular, Reed thinks the division of labor cuts workers off from adequate contact with the world. Surprisingly, he does not make use of Dewey's Art as Experience. Nevertheless, this excellent book is highly recommended.
David Gordon, Bowling Green State Univ., Ohio
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Edward S. Reed, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychology at Franklin & Marshall College. His research on ecological psychology has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institute on Disabilities and Rehabilitation, and a
Guggenheim fellowship.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (August 11, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300105665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300105667
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,163,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Gavan Lintern on July 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Ed Reed was an Ecological Psychologist who sought to outline a scientific psychology of natural human action and interaction. In The Necessity of Experience he argues that direct contact with the world influences how we develop by helping us refine our interpersonal skill, our individuality, and our skill with physical events. In forwarding this proposal he touches on a range of issues relevant to the way we live (education, work, leisure, and community) to show how a coherent psychology can be used to reflect on a wide range of social issues. He argues that Cartesian rationalism has captured us scientifically and socially. He uses the theory of Ecological Psychology to develop the view that experience of the world as conceived by James Gibson can form the basis of a scientific account that is independent of this pervasive rationalist thrust.
This is a thoughtful and well argued treatment of difficult issues. ....
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Format: Paperback
I am so glad I found this book while browsing my university's library. It really makes it clear how myopic some ideas of "progress" can be. Technology is a great tool, but too much investment in an abstract system can cast aside the real people who the system is supposed to serve anyway. For example, he uses an example of the computerization of social work to show how the REAL purpose is lost in the system. People can more accurately accustom themselves with the real, tangible world by interacting with it than if they interacted with a simulation. It's an excellent read with great examples and case studies while still explaining theory and philosophy in an honest, no-gimmick way.
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