On the 50th anniversary of its publication, we look back on some of the intellectual contributions of Gibson’s (1966) The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems. This work is often seen as contributing a new perspective to our understanding of the 5 senses. In this paper, we explore another intellectual contribution: Gibson’s treatment of perception–action as an irreducible, functional system. We review select examples of systems thinking from the physical, animal, and human social domains. Our suggestion is that a systems-level approach to social interactions would have been a natural extension of Gibson’s ideas.
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