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Re: [ontolog-forum] Looking forward at the past

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Schiffel, Jeffrey A" <jeffrey.a.schiffel@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 13:50:04 -0500
Message-id: <ECF42862FCA16D41BFA98F8C45F0955405723AFB@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I don't disagree; you confirm teh implications of my previous note.
Defining affordances is related to the discipline using the term. Gibsonian psychology, like others, is a pschology of the individual mind. Culture, on the other hand, is the vehicle to create ideas, customs, and material objects. It is a collective programming of the minds of the group that distinguish one group of people from another. Culture clearly is derived from individual mental process, since it reflects the species.
For communication to take place, individuals must have a shared interpretation of the signs that are exchanged, and which point to the signified entities in the world. Culture, the repeatable action of signs and interpretations, is observed through social interactions taking place in changing contexts. This takes us into the realm of organizational semiotics. There are several ways in which cultural patterns are observed in organizational semiotics. In the Stamper school, the focus is on behavior.
-- Jeff Schiffel

From: Pat Hayes 
 On Oct 6, 2008, at 12:55 PM, Schiffel, Jeffrey A wrote:

...... An
affordance, for those not familiar with the term, is a pattern of
behavior in a culture. 

Not in Gibsonian psychology. There - and I believe it was Gibson who coined the term - an affordance is a property of the perceived world which is (1) germane to the concerns of an organism, in that it provides useful information about the world, and (2) easy for the perceptual system of the organism to compute. It is the combination of salience and 'fit' to the sensory apparatus which makes affordances noteworthy. Methodologically, their importance is in providing an alternative to behaviorism's insistence on observing and theorizing only about behavior:, while being objectively definable and measurable.

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