Re: [xmca] Aufforderungscharakter/Valence/Affordance/Lewin/Gibson

From: Paolo Petta <paolo.petta who-is-at>
Date: Sun May 25 2008 - 12:06:26 PDT

Hello Michalis:

many thanks for the explanation of the common roots of Aufforderung and

A slight commentary I would offer would be:
1) Aufforderung is more akin to request that invitation ("Einladung").
2) Affordance being a characteristic of a subject-environment
    relationship (rather than an absolute property of either object or
    subject), I would also see this interpretation/translation for
    quite fit/appropriate for "affordance":
    to underscore the relational characteristic, one could perhaps
    even use "call to sg." rather than "request to" (as e.g. a
    ball placed on the top of the rim of a bowl is "called" to roll down
    to the bottom).

I would consider how such "calls" are then handled (e.g. weighted
against each other, followed, ignored or resisted: whether one
automatically takes an empty seat upon boarding a tramway..) as a
separate matter.

again: many thanks indeed: much appreciated!


On Sun, 25 May 2008, Michalis Kontopodis wrote:
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Aufforderungscharakter/Valence/Affordance/Lewin/Gibson
> I can probably help here:
> Aufforderung & Affordance include the word FORD which stems from the late Old
> English forthian [to further, from forth].
> However:
> Auf-forderung means Invitation to do
> and
> Affordance means Being in a position to do
> m.
> On May 25, 2008, at 8:21 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
>> In the van der veer and valsiner edition of *Tool and Symbol* the editors
>> use the term,
>> Aufforderungscharakter to refer to the relation of objects in the world to
>> needs. In a footnote
>> they write that this terms is THEIR insertion in place of the Russian
>> "literary translation" of
>> the Russian "literary term" "kharakter povelevania".
>> I am uncertain of the literal translations of povelevania or what they mean
>> by a literary
>> term, but I am struck by the appearance of the idea of affordance that
>> appears to be in
>> the German term.
>> I have not encountered a discussion of the relationship of the ideas of
>> Gibson and Lewin
>> but could someoneS help with the translation issues here?? Is Lewin's
>> notion
>> translated
>> as valence in most English translations, related to the notion of
>> affordance
>> in Gibson?
>> mike
>> _______________________________________________
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Paolo Petta                                         +43-1-5336112-12(Tel)
Austrian Research Inst. for Artificial Intelligence +43-1-5336112-77(Fax)
Freyung 6/6, A 1010 Vienna, Austria, Europe       Paolo.Petta <@>
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Received on Sun May 25 12:18 PDT 2008

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