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[Xmca-l] Re: The meaning of affordances



And yet the plank did have a prior design, but a human being rejected that design intent (to be used for building a structure) in favor of another form of use (with its own  history). I've wondered  about the relationship between artifact, intended design, improvisation, and human agency

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> On Dec 2, 2014, at 11:48 AM, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu> wrote:
> 
> Hi Annalisa, Mike, Huw
> 
> I tend to  be somebody who reacts better to concrete examples than definitions.  I believe this also comes from Gibson's 1977 book,
> 
> You are walking across a field and come to a stream which you can to get across.  You notice a plank across the stream.  It is wide enough for you to keep your balance and thick enough to hold your weight, in using it you recognize its affordance as a crossing point.  It is the intersection of the movement, the perception of the plank, short term goal of the activity (getting across the stream) - the recognition of the affordance comes in the subjective use of the object (which is why it is neither subjective or objective).  It is also important that you have the abilities (the correct weight, the balance) to recognize the affordance, otherwise you pass the plank by.
> 
> As far as perceived affordance.  I think I have this right - the perceived is not in the person who recognizes the affordance (otherwise you are right, that is wet water) it is whether there is an intention in the design of the object.  So I create a light switch with the intention of designing it as having a perceived affordance for somebody who wants to switch on a light.  As you can see different from the relationship to the plank, where there is no prior design.
> 
> Here is my question (perhaps answered in the Engestrom paper)
> 
> The light switch is certainly an artifact, but is the plank?
> 
> Michael
> ________________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of mike cole [mcole@ucsd.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2014 1:19 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The meaning of affordances
> 
> Those definitions help a lot Annalisa and touch on the fact that gibson
> seemed to empty the organism (if one were so inclined to interpret him) and
> he dismissed culutral mediation as secondary at best. Still, they share the
> idea that a part of the structure that psychologist theorize as a located
> inside of individual crania is in fact "our there" in the phylgenetically
> and cultural-historically constitued environment. And that drove cognitive
> psychologists, our co discussants, nuts. Until, "they got it" and then
> sought to mold it to their own ends and pre-existing means.
> mike
> 
>> On Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 9:59 AM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:
>> 
>> I thought I'd do the honors and start a new thread on affordances, which
>> isn't related to Larry's discussion of basic images.
>> 
>> I figured as well to offer Gibson's words on affordances since it is a
>> word he invented to describe something he saw in the world. Of course the
>> life of affordances has been full of controversy, especially with regard to
>> understanding what they are.
>> 
>> Gibson's Affordances is a theory I find instrumental to connecting outside
>> to inside experiences and I intuit that it is related to perezhivanie in
>> some fashion.
>> 
>> After reading the wikipage more closely, I regret offering a link to the
>> text there because it isn't very clear what Gibson means or what Norman
>> means. To me, a "perceived affordance" is like saying "wet water."
>> 
>> In any case, here are 3 quotes of Gibson in his own words, that I could
>> find:
>> 
>> The affordances of the environment are what it _offers_ the animal, what
>> it _provides_ or _furnishes_, either for good or ill. The verb "to afford"
>> is found in the dictionary, the noun "affordance" is not. I have made it
>> up. I mean by it something that refers both to the environment and the
>> animal in a way that no existing term does. It implies the complementarity
>> of the animal and the environment (Gibson, 1977/1986).
>> 
>> and
>> 
>> What is meant by an _affordance_? …Subject to revision, I suggest that the
>> affordance of anything is a specific combination of the properties of its
>> substance and its surfaces taken with reference to an animal. The reference
>> may be to an animal as distinguished from other species (Gibson, 1977/1986).
>> 
>> and
>> 
>> An important fact about affordances of the environment is that they are in
>> a sense objective, real, and physical, unlike values and meanings, which
>> are often supposed to be subjective, phenomenal, and mental. But actually,
>> an affordance is neither an objective property nor a subjective property;
>> or it is both if you like. An affordance cuts across the dichotomy of
>> subjective-objective and helps us to understand its inadequacy. It is
>> equally a fact of the environment and a fact of behavior. It is both
>> physical and psychical, yet neither. An affordance points both ways, to the
>> environment and to the observer (Gibson, 1977/1986).
>> 
>> These quotes are important to keep in mind, I hope they help.
>> 
>> I might also suggest looking at Mace(1977) who described very carefully
>> how Gibson got from stimuli to affordance, given that people on this list
>> value history, learning, and development.
>> 
>> Kind regards,
>> 
>> Annalisa
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> on behalf of Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
>> Sent: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 10:35 AM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?
>> 
>> I'd take a look.
>> 
>> Michael, utility or technical affordance might fit.  My equivalent of your
>> perceived/discovered distinction is one of planned and technically
>> manifest.
>> 
>> Huw
>> 
>> 
>> On 2 December 2014 at 16:44, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> I'd be interested in anybody else is.
>>> 
>>> Michael
>>> ________________________________________
>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu]
>>> on behalf of mike cole [mcole@ucsd.edu]
>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2014 11:39 AM
>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?
>>> 
>>> Interloper, Michael?
>>> 
>>> The discussions at UCSD preceeding Don's use of affordances and cognitive
>>> artifacts were accompanied by other, related papers. One by Engestrom on
>>> "when is an artifact" and one or more by Ed Hutchins. If people are
>>> interested in pursuing this thread/topic the materials could be gathered
>>> up.
>>> 
>>> mike
>>> 
>>> On Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 8:09 AM, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> But it seems that Norman made two mistakes (and I like his idea).  He
>>>> actually cops to both of them.  The first was not to distinguish
>> between
>>>> affordances which are discovered and perceived affordances which are
>>>> designed.  I think this is related to the issue of artifacts.  Meaning
>>> are
>>>> artifacts designed for perceived affordances or are they there to be
>>>> discovered through movement as (and this is probably the wrong word, if
>>>> anybody knows the right one, help!!) organic affordances.  It is a
>>> complex
>>>> question about artifacts I think because their meaning changes based on
>>>> context, so something designed for perceived affordances in one context
>>> may
>>>> result in organic affordances in another context.
>>>> 
>>>> The second mistake he made, which turned out to be bigger - is that he
>>> was
>>>> not careful enough in differentiating between affordances and
>>> constraints.
>>>> Again artifacts, are they designed to create perceived affordances or
>> are
>>>> they designed to create constraints.
>>>> 
>>>> Anyway, just something I have been thinking about lately, but the
>> mention
>>>> just spurred me to throw this up.  Hope I'm not being too much of an
>>>> interloper.
>>>> 
>>>> Michael
>>>> ________________________________________
>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> ]
>>>> on behalf of mike cole [mcole@ucsd.edu]
>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2014 10:58 AM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?
>>>> 
>>>> Annalisa-
>>>> 
>>>> I like the Wikipedia phraseology better than my own, appropriation not
>>>> discovery. For several years before he appropriated the notion of
>>>> affordances, Don Norman and colleagues at UCSD were dead set against
>>>> Gibson's ideas.  The change of views coincided with the advent of the
>>> d-cog
>>>> idea which also has deep roots in chat.
>>>> 
>>>> No hidden  history i know of, but interesting connections among the
>>> notion
>>>> of affordance and artifact seem worth considering. A discussion  of
>> these
>>>> connections can be found, among other places, in
>>>> 
>>>> Cole, M. & Engeström, Y. (1993). *A cultural-historical approach to
>>>> distributed*
>>>> *cognition*. In G. Salomon (Ed.), Distributed cognition: Psychological
>>> and
>>>> educational considerations. New York: Cambridge University Press.
>>>> 
>>>> mike
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>> On Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 9:53 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Hi Mike,
>>>>> 
>>>>> It was my hope to not post more today, but I I have been denied that
>>>> wish!
>>>>> 
>>>>> Yes, I am aware that "dcog" and "chat" have important connections. I
>>> was
>>>>> not aware however that Don Norman discovered affordances. I learned
>>> about
>>>>> Gibson's affordances in Gardner's book The Minds New Science (1985).
>>>>> 
>>>>> Is there some history that is not part of the common story?
>>>>> 
>>>>> I looked here for clarity:
>>>>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affordance
>>>>> 
>>>>> Is it possible that you mean affordances and how they relate to
>>> cognitive
>>>>> artifacts?
>>>>> 
>>>>> There are no rocks here, maybe only Nerf footballs, as done in play,
>>> and
>>>>> even joy!
>>>>> 
>>>>> When I am done with Paul's paper I do intend to speak, however until
>>> then
>>>>> I will remain with the ineffable.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>> 
>>>>> Annalisa
>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <
>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>> 
>>>>> on behalf of mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
>>>>> Sent: Monday, December 1, 2014 10:39 PM
>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?
>>>>> 
>>>>> The histories of dcog and chat are intertwined, Annalisa. And,
>>>>> co-incidently, Don Norman discovered affordances and cognitive
>>> artifacts
>>>>> right about that time at UCSD.  If it were possible to find a source
>>> that
>>>>> makes these connections visible and available to read about it might
>>> be a
>>>>> step in the direction of your earlier suggestion of some sort of
>> intro
>>>> for
>>>>> newcomers to the discussion.
>>>>> 
>>>>> I have been reading The paper that Paul sent. I fear I need a
>>> newcomer's
>>>>> introduction to many of the dense cluster of thinkers he is seeking
>> to
>>>> sort
>>>>> out! The centrality of class comes through clearly, but I am
>>>> insuficiently
>>>>> read in too many places to feel I understand well. Help wanted!
>>>>> 
>>>>> A sculptor friend has a t shirt that nails our dilemma "so many
>> rocks,
>>> so
>>>>> little time"!
>>>>> 
>>>>> Mike
>>>>> 
>>>>> A
>>>>> 
>>>>> On Monday, December 1, 2014, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu>
>>> wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>>> Martin!
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Perhaps the day we stop employing the phrase "mental
>> representation"
>>> is
>>>>>> coming closer!
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> For me, this brings us closer to truly understanding Gibson's
>> theory
>>> of
>>>>>> affordances.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> This is what it's like for me to read David's contributed article.
>>> But
>>>> I
>>>>>> wonder if it is possible for you, Martin, to explain why it is
>>>> important
>>>>>> not to use the phrase,"mental representation" in the article.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I suspect there is a history here, and I do not mean to pull a
>>> grenade
>>>>>> pin, I just want to understand because I am a newcomer to the list.
>>> If
>>>>> you
>>>>>> can trust that that is my intention by asking, I will look forward
>> to
>>>>> your
>>>>>> reply, Martin.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Let me just add that I am putting two and two together that being
>> at
>>>> UCSD
>>>>>> and it being the home to Distributed Cognition, that that
>> influences
>>>> your
>>>>>> position, not that it necessarily shapes it, but that you find
>>>> community
>>>>> in
>>>>>> it (which I suppose can still shape, but it seems more voluntary
>>>> phrased
>>>>>> that way).
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Annalisa
>>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <javascript:;> <
>>>>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <javascript:;>> on behalf of
>> Martin
>>>> John
>>>>>> Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co <javascript:;>>
>>>>>> Sent: Monday, December 1, 2014 4:28 AM
>>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: How *basic* are images?
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> An interesting article, David. One way in which it is interesting,
>> to
>>>> me
>>>>>> at least, is that the phrase "mental representation" is not used,
>>> even
>>>>>> once. Instead the author writes of the way that we "read" images in
>>> the
>>>>>> world around us - material representations - and he tries to define
>>> the
>>>>>> "interpretational space" within which this reading takes place.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Martin
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Dec 1, 2014, at 1:53 AM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com
>>>>>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Larry, Annalisa:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> People sometimes ask my wife if it was "love at first sight" when
>>> we
>>>>>>> met. She answers--quite truthfully--that she has no memory of
>>>> anything
>>>>>>> except the price of the shoes that I wore (a kind of shoe
>> available
>>>>>>> for a standard price all over China) She does not even remember
>>>>>>> whether they were new or old (they were pretty new; it was the
>>>>>>> beginning of the semester). I think I would describe this as a
>>>>>>> non-image based mental representation.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> As Larry says, the issue of whether all mental representations
>> are
>>>>>>> images was a very hot one--back in the late nineteenth century.
>> In
>>>>>>> fact, it was the key issue for the Gestaltist revolt against
>>>> Titchener
>>>>>>> and against Wundtian psychology: for Wundt and his disciples,
>>>>>>> everything was image based, and the Gestaltists demonstrated that
>>>>>>> many, if not most, of our mental operations are genetically
>>> anterior
>>>>>>> to images, and have more to do with processes, else we would not
>>> have
>>>>>>> time or ability to process complex problems in real time.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> I think it is even more true that of forms of thinking that are
>>>>>>> genetically posterior to images. I hesitate to recommend more
>>> reading
>>>>>>> to anybody, because of course Larry is far more well read than I
>> am
>>>>>>> (particularly on phenomenology) and Annalisa sometimes feels like
>>>>>>> she's being sent to sit facing the corner with a book. So do NOT
>>> read
>>>>>>> this article--instead, look at Figure 11.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3157022/
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> The artist, Robert Pepperell, uses the general color structure of
>>>>>>> Michelangelo’s painting to suggest images without using any
>> actual
>>>>>>> images: by color and shape, which some part of our cultural
>>>> experience
>>>>>>> associates with Renaissance paintings.  Pepperell then
>> deliberately
>>>>>>> frustrates these guiding images by refusing to give them any
>>>>>>> recognizable figures upon which to focus.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> However, the child staring up at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel
>>> fresco
>>>>>>> for the first time finds himself in the opposite situation. He or
>>> she
>>>>>>> can discern quite clearly the fighting figures in the painting
>> and
>>>>>>> wonders who they are and why they are fighting, but does not
>> notice
>>>>>>> the color structure or see anything particularly meaningful in
>> it.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On 1 December 2014 at 10:39, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu
>>>>>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Hi Larry and David,
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Am I butting in? I hope if I am, it is a welcome butting in!
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> I don't know that we can say that "basic guiding images" are at
>>> the
>>>>>> root of all thinking.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Perhaps it is safer to say that people think differently, based
>>> upon
>>>>>> previous conditioning and interactions with their caretakers, in
>>>>>> combination with their biological makeup? Vera has a coined a
>> phrase
>>> I
>>>>> like
>>>>>> a lot called "Cognitive pluralism." She has written a paper on it
>> by
>>>> the
>>>>>> same title and you may find interesting it if you don't know it.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> With this in mind, it is possible that _some_ people think as
>>>> Hackett
>>>>>> describes, but I don't know if it is how all people think. Have you
>>>>> already
>>>>>> given an example of Hackett's work that you recommend? I'd be
>> willing
>>>> to
>>>>>> take a look.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> As I understand, the topic of mental representations is
>>>> controversial.
>>>>>> It is likely controversial because no one likes it when someone
>> says
>>>>> "this
>>>>>> is how all humans think." Of course, that is just my humble
>>>> observation.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> It may just be that thinking is a dynamic process and whatever
>>> that
>>>>>> process is, is particular to the necessity to the situation at
>> hand?
>>>>> Just a
>>>>>> thought.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> What is it that appeals to you about this model, metaphoricity?
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> (BTW, a metaphor need not be image based!)
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Kind regards,
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Annalisa
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <javascript:;> <
>>>>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <javascript:;>> on behalf of Larry
>>>>> Purss <
>>>>>> lpscholar2@gmail.com <javascript:;>>
>>>>>>>> Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2014 11:33 AM
>>>>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture Activity
>>>>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l]  How *basic* are images?
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> David K
>>>>>>>> I mentioned Chris Hackett, and I recently referenced Peirce. My
>>>> reason
>>>>>> for
>>>>>>>> exploring these authors is I have been following a path
>> pursuing a
>>>>> basic
>>>>>>>> question.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Are basic guiding images at the root of all thinking?
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Chris Hackett's answer is: "thinking never EXCEEDS the basic
>>> guiding
>>>>>> images
>>>>>>>> upon which thinking rests"
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> The recent dialogue between Andy and Martin exploring
>> appearances
>>>> and
>>>>>>>> illusions was also exploring this theme.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Hackett is outlining what he understands as a new
>> phenomenological
>>>>> path
>>>>>>>> that places guiding images at the root of thinking. He names
>> this
>>>>>> process
>>>>>>>> *metaphoricity*.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Hackett believes metaphoricity names the irreducible
>>> image-character
>>>>> of
>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> *spontaneous event* of meaning.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> He goes on to suggest that the "intending subject" - which he
>>>>> brackets -
>>>>>>>> finds itself implicated in this guiding image.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> AND
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> it is *in* this guiding image that the *intending subject* finds
>>> the
>>>>>>>> meaning of its very self.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Exploring the notion of "first things* Hackett proposes this
>>>>>>>> image-character IS a new *objectivity* that only the notion of
>>>>> metaphor
>>>>>> can
>>>>>>>> invoke. In other words the notion of *seeing as* is implicated
>> in
>>>>>>>> *objectivity*
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> This new objectivity for Hackett is the root of thinking.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Reason at the point of becoming conscious and in command of
>> itself
>>>>> *in*
>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> mode [path] of the concept
>>>>>>>> occurs AFTER the *constitution* of meaning through guiding
>> images
>>>> has
>>>>>> been
>>>>>>>> established.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> In other words meaning through guiding images mediates the path
>> of
>>>>>>>> conscious verbal thought in command of itself which is derived
>>> from
>>>>> the
>>>>>>>> image-character of the guiding image.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> I hesitate to open this thread because of how controversial this
>>>> topic
>>>>>> may
>>>>>>>> become [again]
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> However I will take the risk as I continue to be held by this
>>> basic
>>>>>>>> question. I want to repeat that Hackett is exploring these
>> images
>>> as
>>>>>>>> occurring as *events* and in his speculations the images emerge
>>>>>>>> spontaneously prior to intentional consciousness.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> This is not the phenomenology of Husserl [which is
>> transcendental]
>>>> and
>>>>>> is
>>>>>>>> not the phenomenology of Heidegger [which is hermeneutical]. It
>>>> seems
>>>>> to
>>>>>>>> have an affinity with Peirce and speculative musings.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> I also realize this question may already be answered in
>> Vygotsky's
>>>>>> writings
>>>>>>>> and may be pulling us away from the historical concerns of
>> XMCA. I
>>>>>>>> personally am following this path for now.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Larry
>>>>> 
>>>>> --
>>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with
>> an
>>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> --
>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> --
>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
> 
> 
> --
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>