Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Over onsFaculteit WijsbegeerteNieuwsAgenda

Erik Rietveld: Affordances

A Wittgensteinian, Practice-Based Account

The notion of affordances is one of the central concepts in the philosophy of embodied cognition, yet it is hardly ever analyzed seriously. Affordances are possibilities for action provided to us by the environment. However, this perfectly fine and simple first characterization of affordances covers up a significant part of the complexity and richness of Gibson’s (1979) notion.

Developing Chemero’s (2003) idea that we can understand affordances as relations between aspects of the environment and abilities of animals, I will introduce a distinction between the ontology of affordances and our bodily responsiveness to relevant affordances or solicitations to act. A Wittgensteinian, practice-based account of affordances in the human form of life clarifies why McDowell (2007, 344-345) was right to suggest that “openness to affordances is basic” for understanding the relationship between mind and world.

Erik Rietveld is senior researcher at the Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam / AMC / Department of Philosophy. He is also a partner of Rietveld Landscape which was curator of the Dutch Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice (2010) on invitation of the Ministry of OC&W. He was Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and Fellow in Philosophy at Harvard University. NWO awarded him a VENI-grant in 2009 for his research project Unreflective Action in Everyday Life. He has published papers in Mind, Inquiry and Theory & Psychology.


Wednesday, 2 March 2011
15.15-17.00 h
Oude Boteringestraat 52, room Omega 

Lecture organized by the Dept of Theoretical Philosophy
Everyone welcome!

Laatst gewijzigd:30 oktober 2012 20:39