NOTES on Affordances *

Emergence of Values: Gibson’s ‘Affordances’

Gibson’s concept of affordances, higher-level ecological features of the perceiving organism’s environment that specify possibility of interaction with the organism.  These include:

  • solid surfaces as ‘supportable’
  • trees as ‘climbable’
  • large bodies of liquids as ‘swimable’
  • sticks as ‘pokeable’
  • thorns as ‘jabable’
  • the list is endless…

The affordances of the environment are essential unlimited in possibilities.  They are affordances only if the caring invariant information specifying their affordance properties. The are perceived as affordant only if their affordance is perceived through exploration or perceptual learning (i.e., the outcome of intensionally and incrementally looking for more specificity, more details in the available ambient information gradients).


* Do not cite or quote this page.  It is under development and its contents are tentative. – bioperipatetic

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