Cognitive Affordances - Theoretical Foundations and Developments

April 24, 2024 - April 26, 2024

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Universidad de Antioquia
University of Copenhagen
University of Memphis
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
University of Bristol
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
National Autonomous University of Mexico
National University of Córdoba
Universitat de Barcelona
Institut Jean Nicod
Utrecht University


National Autonomous University of Mexico

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Within the domain of Ecological Psychology, the concept of affordances has emerged as a significant framework, particularly in its application to perception and related cognitive processes. A recent development in Philosophy is the exploration of cognitive affordances, which pertain to cognitive capacities such as memory, attention, inference, and numerosity. This extension has found application across various disciplines including social cognition, anthropology, education, disability studies, and aesthetics. As members of the Seminar of Cognitive Diversity at UNAM, we are excited by the possibilities offered by these applications. 

However, despite its utility, there remains a lack of consensus regarding the conceptualization of affordances within a cognitive context. Consequently, scholarly efforts have been dedicated to either proposing theoretical frameworks for understanding cognitive affordances or raising objections to its validity. Given the considerable theoretical groundwork yet to be laid, a workshop has been organized with the aim of advancing discourse and understanding in this area.

  • With this in mind, we have invited our speakers, to address the following questions: 
  • What is the definition of  “cognitive affordance”? How is it related to other notions in the literature (e.g. perceptual affordances, affordance landscape, metacognitive feelings, mental institutions,)?
  • How is the notion of “cognitive affordance” theoretically fruitful? What is the work performed by the notion? How well do the different proposed specifications in the literature capture the relevant phenomena? 
  • Is there a core concept of "affordance" shared by ecological theories of perception and cognitive affordances?
  • How is the concept of cognitive affordance related (or depends upon) different ways of understanding embodied cognition?
  • Does talk about cognitive affordances “trivialize” the notion, as claimed by recent criticism? 
  • What is the empirical evidence for cognitive affordances? In what ways can this notion be useful to interpret results and/or design future experimental settings?

We believe that the collaborative efforts spurred by our workshop will catalyze advancements in our understanding of cognitive affordances, leading to fruitful interdisciplinary exchanges and innovative research endeavors. By addressing key questions and fostering dialogue among scholars from diverse fields, we anticipate that this endeavor will not only deepen our comprehension of cognitive processes but also pave the way for practical applications

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April 22, 2024, 11:45pm UTC

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Universidad Autónoma Del Estado de Morelos
National Autonomous University of Mexico

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#affordances, #ecological psychology, #cognitive diversity, #4E Cognition, #metacognition, #metaphors, #cognitive phenomenology