November 25-27, 2013
Program (as of Nov 7, 2013)
The conference investigates the concept ‘affordance’, its history and transformations as it traveled through different research fields and disciplines. The notion of affordance originates and is frequently identified with ecological thinking, it appears in considerations about interdependencies and interactions, about relational configurations and ontologies. Affordances figure in studies on the determination of qualities of objects and their implication in social practices; they serve to designate distinct forms of agency. The concept is used in psychoanalysis, in design and art-theory, in the philosophy of experimentation, and in theories of knowledge and action. Digital objects, smart materials, chemical devices, robots and the human body, geographical information systems and neuronal activity, hydrological infrastructure and landscape parks – all of these objects will be presented and discussed as providing or being affordances. A variety of epistemological positions will be defended, different ontological claims advanced and relevant background theories invoked. There will be advocates of the notion and its heuristic value, and skeptics seeking to critique its current popularity.
Speakers include Adrian Alsmith, Marcel Boumans, Claudia Carello, Harry Collins, Karmen Franinović, Hajo Greif, Rom Harré, Harry Heft, Jannis Kallinikos, Montana Katz, Irene Klaver, Alexander Koutamanis, Peter Kroes and Maarten Franssen, Joel Krueger, Yvonne Latham, Jean-Pierre Llored, Lorenzo Magnani, Paul Micklethwaite, Jens Ortmann, Hans Jörg Rheinberger, Eran Tal, Michael Turvey, Emre Ugur and Erol Şahin, Cees van Leeuwen, Catharine Ward Thompson.
The conference is part of a DFG and ANR-funded project on the genesis and ontology of technoscientific objects. Along with the January winter-school on modes of technoscientific knowledge, ‘What affordance affords’ is the final activity of the project.