Extending the notion of affordance

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (2):275-293 (2014)
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Post-Gibson attempts to set out a definition of affordance generally agree that this notion can be understood as a property of the environment with salience for an organism’s behavior. According to this view, some scholars advocate the idea that affordances are dispositional properties of physical objects that, given suitable circumstances, necessarily actualize related actions. This paper aims at assessing this statement in light of a theory of affordance perception. After years of discontinuity between strands of empirical and theoretical research, the time is ripe for addressing the question of whether the dispositional interpretation of affordance is in accordance with some recent evidence from cognitive science and neuroscience. Following this line, I clarify that there are some cases of affordance-related effects that neither require the actualization of an action, nor the presence of an action-related property bearer in the environment, and that the identification of affordance with physical properties provides only a partial explanation of the wide range of affordance-related effects. Accordingly, I argue in favor of a more general account of affordance perception based on the ability to directly detect perceptual patterns in the environment



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Silvano Zipoli Caiani
Università degli Studi di Firenze

Citations of this work

Visual Feeling of Presence.Gabriele Ferretti - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):112-136.
Are affordances normative?Manuel Heras-Escribano & Manuel de Pinedo - 2016 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (4):565-589.

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Finkish dispositions.David Kellogg Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.

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