Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-54vk6 Total loading time: 0.227 Render date: 2022-08-17T04:23:55.634Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Affordances Explained

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

I examine the central theoretical construct of ecological psychology, the concept of an affordance. In the first part of the paper, I illustrate the role affordances play in Gibson's theory of perception. In the second part, I argue that affordances are to be understood as dispositional properties, and explain what I take to be their characteristic background circumstances, triggering circumstances and manifestations. The main purpose of my analysis is to give affordances a theoretical identity enriched by Gibson's visionary insight, but independent of the most controversial claims of the Gibsonian movement.

Type
Psychology, Cognitive, and Neuroscience
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

I would like to thank Anthony Chemero, Carol Fowler, Bruno Galantucci, Paul Griffiths, Jim Lennox, Peter Machamer, Ruth Millikan, and Gualtiero Piccinini for their very helpful comments on previous drafts of this paper.

References

Barker, Stephen (1999), “Counterfactuals, Probabilistic Counterfactuals and Causation”, Counterfactuals, Probabilistic Counterfactuals and Causation 108(431): 427469.Google Scholar
Bermúdez, José Luis (1998), The Paradox of Self-Consciousness. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chemero, Anthony (forthcoming), “An Outline of a Theory of Affordances”, Ecological Psychology.Google Scholar
Davidson, Donald (1980), Essays on Actions and Events. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Fodor, Jerry, and Pylyshyn, Zenon (1981), “How Direct Is Visual Perception? Some Reflections on Gibson's ‘Ecological Approach’”, How Direct Is Visual Perception? Some Reflections on Gibson's ‘Ecological Approach’ 9:139196.Google ScholarPubMed
Gibson, James J. (1966), The Senses Considered as Perceptual Systems. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
Gibson, James J. (1979), The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
Gibson, James J., Reed, Edward, and Jones, Rebecca (1982), Reasons for Realism: Selected Essays of James J. Gibson. Hillsdale, NJ: L. Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Koffka, Kurt (1935), Principles of Gestalt Psychology. New York: Harcourt Brace and Company.Google Scholar
Lewin, Kurt (1935), A Dynamic Theory of Personality: Selected Papers. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
Lewis, David (1986), On the Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: B. Blackwell.Google Scholar
Locke, John ([1690] 1975), An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Edited by Peter H. Nidditch. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Mellor, Hugh (1974), “In Defense of Dispositions”, In Defense of Dispositions 83:157181.Google Scholar
Millikan, Ruth (1984), Language, Thought and Other Biological Categories. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press.Google Scholar
Millikan, Ruth (2000), On Clear and Confused Ideas. An Essay about Substance Concepts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mumford, Stephen (1998), Dispositions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Prior, Elizabeth (1985), Dispositions. Aberdeen, UK: Aberdeen University Press.Google Scholar
Rowlands, Mark (1997), “Teleological Semantics”, Teleological Semantics 106(422): 279303.Google Scholar
Stoffregen, Thomas (2000), “Affordances and Events”, Affordances and Events 12(1): 128.Google Scholar
Turvey, Michael, Shaw, Robert, Reed, Edward, and Mace, William (1981), “Ecological Laws of Perceiving and Acting: In Reply to Fodor and Pylyshyn”, Ecological Laws of Perceiving and Acting: In Reply to Fodor and Pylyshyn 9:237304.Google ScholarPubMed
Turvey, Michael (1992), “Affordances and Prospective Control: An Outline of the Ontology”, Affordances and Prospective Control: An Outline of the Ontology 4(3): 173187.Google Scholar
Warren, William (1984), “Perceiving Affordances: Visual Guidance of Stair-Climbing”, Perceiving Affordances: Visual Guidance of Stair-Climbing 10:683703.Google ScholarPubMed
Wells, Andrew (2002), “Gibson's Affordances and Turing's Theory of Computation”, Gibson's Affordances and Turing's Theory of Computation 14(3): 141180.Google Scholar
104
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Affordances Explained
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Affordances Explained
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Affordances Explained
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *