International Research Conference, Lancaster UK, 10-12th April 2006
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Affordances – a Merleau-Pontian account

Nina Bonderup Dohn
University of Southern Denmark


In this paper, the concept of ‘affordance' is given an ontological and epistemological explication building on a Merleau-Pontian view of human being as always already being-in-the world in a non-thematized, pre-reflective correspondence of body and world in the concrete activity. A dynamic, agent-centred, cultural-, experience- and skill-relative, but perception-independent, ontology is proposed for affordances. It is argued that this is more in line with the original Gibsonian understanding of the concept than a recent attempt by McGrenere and Ho, because the latter fall back upon the subject-object-dichotomy that Gibson was trying to transcend.


Affordance, ontology, epistemology, perception, agency, body, being-in-the-world, representation

Full Paper - .pdf

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Keynote Speakers

Peter Goodyear, University of Sydney

Ronghuai Huang,

Beijing Normal University

Vera A. Solis, Universidad Centroamericana

Lawrence Hamburg, Higher Education Academy

Sten Ludvigsen, Intermedia, Oslo

Lancaster University


Higher Education Academy

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