The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible

Living Edition
| Editors: Vlad Petre Glăveanu (Editor-in-Chief), Vlad Petre Glăveanu


Living reference work entry

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Affordances have been conceptualized by J. J. Gibson as what the environment offers, provides or furnishes the organism, in other words, as possibilities for action. However, this notion is not without controversy, in particular surrounding its nature and properties. This entry will consider the ways in which the concept of affordance can help us build a material theory of the possible, one that is intimately related to both subjective experience and to culture. The entry discusses different definitions of affordance, its types and characteristics, before outlining a model of the possible based on the interplay between materiality, intentionality, and normativity. The implications of this model for our understanding of agency and possibility are discussed in the end.


Affordance Materiality Intentionality Culture Objects Agency 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and CounselingWebster University GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Center for the Science of Learning and Technology (SLATE), University of BergenBergenNorway

Section editors and affiliations

  • Samira Bourgeois-Bougrine

There are no affiliations available