chapter  3
16 Pages

Amos Rapoport: Scholar, Conscience and Citizen of the Environment and Behavior Field

WithIrwin Altman

Amos Rapoport is the conscience and beacon of idealism in the environment and behavior field. Amos is a friend to scholars, practitioners, and consumers of environment and behavior products. Indeed, the complexity of environment-behavior phenomena cries for alternative paths of investigation. Amos seeks to systematically theorize about environment and behavior phenomena in a way that is firmly anchored in a "scientific" philosophy and epistemology. He has repeatedly and vigorously called for the development of integrative theories of environment-behavior phenomena that will set the stage for progress in scholarly understanding and practical design. In contrast to must pragmatic and relativistic approach, the other world views seek to discover universal explanatory principles and, ideally, an ultimate synthesis and unity of knowledge based on limited theoretical principles. The physical environment is not what a theory is about; a theory is primarily associated with a human process.