Conceptions of the relation between organisms and their environments make up a crucial chapter in the history of psychology, a chapter that may be profitably approached by a comparative study of how this relation has been represented in schematic diagrams. Diagrams, and not footnotes, drive the communication and the teaching of ideas, the sedimentation of epistemic norms and methods of analysis, and in some cases the articulation of new concepts through productive pictographic variants. I present a brief perspective on the relation between organisms and environments through a sampling of its schematic representations. Many diagrams afford detailed examination. However, I will only present a concise comparison of how different authors, with different interests and goals, have attempted to condense aspects of the organism-environment relation they consider important. I will compare example diagrams according to the features they underscore (or omit) and roughly group them into classes that emphasize interaction, transaction, and constitution loops.
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