An argument is developed that suggests the concept of affordances can best facilitate the pursuit of new knowledge if it’s defined as an event. The first description initially generated by James J. Gibson was deceptively vague. This has led to several attempts by additional researchers to re-describe it. These efforts fall short of describing a concept that is consistent with both the historical context of Gibson’s work and his motivations for introducing the term. Additionally, no definition has been introduced that aims to limit the scope of information researchers must consider when using the term. I put forth a description of affordances that is consistent with Gibson’s motivations and is pragmatically motivated to restrain the scope of inquiry. The application of this new description may lead to more fruitful experimentation and less problematic discourse throughout the disciplines that use the term.

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