Affordances and the body: An intentional analysis of Gibson's ecological approach to visual perception

In his ecological approach to perception, james gibson introduced the concept of affordance to refer to the perceived meaning of environmental objects and events. this paper examines the relational and causal character of affordances, as well as the grounds for extending affordances beyond environmental features with transcultural meaning to include those features with culturally-specific meaning. such an extension is seen as warranted once affordances are grounded in an intentional analysis of perception. toward this end, aspects of merleau-ponty's treatment of perception are explored. finally, a resolution of the apparent tension between the relational and perceiver-independent nature of affordances is presented.
Keywords Metaphysics perception visual ecology
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5914.1989.tb00133.x
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