There are still a couple of chapters left for me to go over in Chemero, but the last two were the crux of the book for me, and I want to try and summarise where my analysis has left me before I go on holiday for Easter.
First, I'd like to separate out a couple of themes. First, there's the overall 'radical embodied cognitive science' programme, and second is the specific form of the 'shored up ecological psychology' that Chemero advocates as a basis for this programme. I am entirely on board with the basic idea of RECS; specifically, I think that cognition, whatever that is, is non-representational and that we can make great progress by making our science non-representational. I think Chemero has written a clear exposition of what such a radical science might look like, and why we might want to bother, and I think this makes RECS a must read for the field.
Second, I think that Chemero is right to go to ecological psychology for a theoretical basis. The more I look, the more I have come to believe that James Gibson is about the only psychologist to have actually proposed a genuine scientific theory in psychology. A true theory provides you with tools to empirically attack novel problems in your domain, and provides you with a clear basis to interpret the results of your tests and to begin to tell a coherent story. Psychology has been chasing phenomena for most of it's scientific life, with no clear framework emerging to tell us a story about why things are the way they are. Ecological psychology is a genuine theory, and it's about a critical feature of our psychological lives: how we maintain contact with our world and move through it successfully. Regardless of what topic you're specifically interested in, you need to understand how we come to have knowledge about our environments.
Finally, though, I have problems with the proposals Chemero makes about the two pillars of an ecological psychology, affordances and information. It's these problems I want to try and sum up here, to focus the conversation a little.