chapter  3
27 Pages

The Concept of Affordances in Development: The Renascence of Functionalism

It is a matter of common agreement among scientists that not many ideas are new. Physicists find new particles, evolutionary biologists and geneticists move toward new models of speciation and evolutionary change (Lewin, 1980), but the discoveries and new views always have a past. Still, over the decades or at least centuries, it appears to most of us that science progresses, sometimes in spurts and sometimes slowly, to new understandings. Often, this happens because a way of viewing the phenomena of some scientific discipline, once discarded as worn out and unproductive, appears in a new light; reclothed and fresh. its new vitality shows us the way out of traps in which our thinking had become stalled and stereotyped, allowing us to take a naive look at what we are trying to understand, unfettered by paradigms that had slowly taken the place of the original problems.