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Manuel Heras-Escribano

The Philosophy of Affordances

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ISBN: 978-3-319-98830-6
Reihe: New Directions in Philosophy and Cognitive Science
Verlag: Springer International Publishing
Format: E-Book Text (PDF (mit DRM) sofort downloaden
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XI, 232 Seiten, 1st ed. 2019, 2019
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This book is the first monograph fully devoted to analyzing the philosophical aspects of affordances. The concept of affordance, coined and developed in the field of ecological psychology, describes the possibilities for action available in the environment. This work offers a systematic approach to the key philosophical features of affordances, such as their ontological characterization, their relation to normative practices, and the idea of agency that follows from viewing affordances as key objects of perception, while also proposing an innovative philosophical characterization of affordances as dispositional properties.The Philosophy of Affordances analyzes the implications that a proper understanding of affordances has for the philosophy of mind and the cognitive sciences, and aims to intensify the dialogue between philosophy and ecological psychology in which each discipline benefits from the tools and insights of the other.


1 Introduction

1.1 A meaningful world of promises and threats

1.2 Why a book on affordances?

1.3 Plan of the book

2 Ecological psychology

2.1 The main commitments of the ecological approach

2.2 Against behaviorism and cognitivism

2.3 Main concepts

2.3.1 Perception-action continuity

2.3.2 The organism-environment system and the ecological scale

2.3.3 Ecological information, specificity, and direct perception

2.3.4 What ecological information is not

2.3.5 The theory of affordances

2.3.6 Three paradigmatic experimental studies in ecological psychology

2.4 Conclusion

3 The ontology of affordances

3.1 Ecological metaphysics

3.2 The dispositional account of affordances

3.2.1 Dispositionalism: the factualist view

3.2.2 Affordances as dispositions

3.2.3 Problems with the dispositional account of affordances

3.2.4 Non-factualist dispositionalism

3.2.5 Affordances as dispositions: A Rylean approach

3.3 Conclusion

4 The normativity of affordances

4.1 The normative character of our unreflective situated behavior

4.2 Affordances as normative relations

4.3 Some problems with the normative account of affordances

4.4 Affordances and normative practices

4.5 Affordances, normativity, and invitations

4.6 Conclusion

5 Towards an ecological approach to agency

5.1 What is agency?

5.2 Articulating the ecological approach to agency

5.3 Candidates for an ecological approach to agency

5.3.1 Dynamical systems theory and the control of action

5.3.2 Merleau-Ponty’s body schema

5.3.3 The enactive approach to agency

5.4 Reed’s action systems theory as a basis for ecological psychology

5.4.1 Action systems theory and the dispositional characterization of affordances

5.5 Conclusion

6 Ecological information and perceptual content

6.1 Perception and content

6.2 Radical enactivism and the naturalization of content

6.3 Radical enactivism and ecological psychology

6.4 Conclusion

7 New challenges for ecological psychology

7.1 Minimal cognition

7.2 Affordances and sensory substitution

7.3 Sociality and ecological cognition

7.4 The political dimension of affordances

7.5 Conclusion

8 Epilogue

8.1 Evolution, pragmatism, and ecological psychology

8.2 Cognition in the ecological balance

8.3 Towards a post-cognitivist cognitive science: a constructive proposal

8.3.1 Ecological psychology, phenomenology, and enactivism

8.3.2 A multi-level approach

8.4 Concluding remarks



Biografische Anmerkung zu den Verfassern

Manuel Heras-Escribano is a Juan de la Cierva-Formación research fellow working at the IAS Research Centre for Life, Mind, and Society at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. Formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Granada, Spain, and the Alberto Hurtado University, Chile, his work focuses on the philosophical and conceptual aspects of the embodied and situated cognitive sciences, with a growing interest in the evolutionary origins of cognition.