Transactionalism (Philosophy)

A philosophical approach that emphasizes the reciprocal relationship between that which acts and that which is acted upon, a relationship which “asserts the right to see together much that is talked about conventionally as if it were composed of irreconcilable separates.” [1]

Note: Influence Ecology offers the only study in the Philosophy of Transactionalism.[2] Our company name is an abstract concept for the reciprocal, co-constitutive relationship inherent in an organism/environment; a specific and specialized transaction built for immersive consequence.

“Viewed in its philosophical dimension, transaction denotes a reciprocal relationship between that which acts and that which is acted upon. In this relationship, both become united for the moment in a mutual transition or “transaction.” It is a process in which both are reciprocally transformed. That is to say, the nature of the change each undergoes is affected by the presence and influence of the other. The relationship forms a bond of unity which contradicts any absolute separation or isolation which, to anticipate the succeeding chapter, is imposed by dualistic categories. The review of the historical development of this mode of thought and interpretation of action, was, indeed, an account of how phenomena came to be viewed less as the behavior of static entities and mutual isolates, and more as aspects of events in the process of becoming. A transaction, then is a creative act, engaged in by one who, by virtue of his participation in the act – of which he is always an aspect, never an entity – together with the other participants, be they human or otherwise environmental, becomes in the process modified.”  [3]

“the transactional approach is truly an attempt to include man, a natural organism, as an integral component of those investigations and inquiries which seek to enlarge his knowledge. This inclusion does not concern itself solely with man’s efforts to discover what already is, but is based on the assertion that what man seeks in his environment may only be interpreted in terms of man, in terms of the observer himself. Experiencing – including inquiring – is a process of creating and of becoming.” [4]

[1] Dewey and Bentley, Knowing and The Known, p. 69.


[3] Transactionalism: An Historic and Interpretive Study by Trevor J. Phillips. p.74-75.

[4] Ibid. p.75-76.

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