affordance
  • [126]

    Thinkers of affirmation and acknowledgment: James J.Gibson (perception) George Kubler (art) Robert M.Pirsig (value) Ludwig Wittgenstein (language)

    [127]

    In The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception 1979 James J.Gibson approached perception in terms of immediacy at time many colleagues steeped into mediation. Gibson approach imperative do justice to exploration as pursued in environments offering varied resistance. Gibson examples:

    There is the ground for walking and lying down on, skies for flying over the tree tops air for breathing water for diving, swimming, drinking flowing and there are stagnant substances hard, soft and succulent things and distances that it takes time to traverse.

    Cf adherents of mediation approach. Does not start in justification of complementarity but already some distance into abstraction ponder upon pictures we make ourselves of the world.

    Gibson visited colleague and friend Gunnar Johansson at Uppsala university repeatedly. Could have met them but did not. Nags me. Gibson right Johansson left.

  • [128]

    Gibson approach to perception may appear primarily opposition to mentalist approach. His key concept 'affordance' points to where opposition of immediacy and mediation dissolves. Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, p.143:

    The verb to afford is found in the dictionary, but the noun affordance is not. I have made it up. I mean by it something that refers to the complementarity of the animal and the environment, p.127, and further: Affordances are properties taken with reference to the observer. They are neither physical nor phenomenal, 

  • [129]

    Gibson complementarity neither investigate what can be measured and weighed nor advance theory about what happen in black box of mind but consider domain where fact and value coincide domain of aesthetics.

  • [132]

    What is dis-continuity? Road block intercept way temporarily or way around. Edge of picture mark dimensional shift one does not wait out or circumvent. Gibson problem how account for apparent dis-continuity picture presents in world of continuities. Advocates of perceptual mediation no problem since picturing all-pervasive of their theory: to perceive is to picture. But how account for immersion in stream and traffic of continuities?