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Skilled Intentionality for 'Higher' Embodied Cognition: Joining forces with a field of affordances in flux

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 AFFORDS-HIGHER project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the AFFORDS-HIGHER project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "AFFORDS-HIGHER" about.

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Project "AFFORDS-HIGHER" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: MEIBERGDREEF 15
postcode: 1105AZ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙499˙850 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙850 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-05-01   to  2021-04-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

In many situations experts act adequately, yet without deliberation. Architects e.g, immediately sense opportunities offered by the site of a new project. One could label these manifestations of expert intuition as ‘higher-level’ cognition, but still these experts act unreflectively. The aim of my project is to develop the Skilled Intentionality Framework (SIF), a new conceptual framework for the field of embodied/enactive cognitive science (Chemero, 2009; Thompson, 2007). I argue that affordances - possibilities for action provided by our surroundings - are highly significant in cases of unreflective and reflective ‘higher’ cognition. Skilled Intentionality is skilled coordination with multiple affordances simultaneously.

The two central ideas behind this proposal are (a) that episodes of skilled ‘higher’ cognition can be understood as responsiveness to affordances for ‘higher’ cognition and (b) that our surroundings are highly resourceful and contribute to skillful action and cognition in a far more fundamental way than is generally acknowledged. I use embedded philosophical research in a particular practice of architecture to shed new light on the ways in which affordances for ‘higher’ cognition support creative imagination, anticipation, explicit planning and self-reflection.

The Skilled Intentionality Framework is groundbreaking in relating findings established at several complementary levels of analysis: philosophy/phenomenology, ecological psychology, affective science and neurodynamics.

Empirical findings thought to be exclusively valid for everyday unreflective action can now be used to explain skilled ‘higher’ cognition as well. Moreover, SIF brings both the context and the social back into cognitive science. I will show SIF’s relevance for Friston’s work on the anticipating brain, and apply it in the domain of architecture and public health. SIF will radically widen the scope of the increasingly influential field of embodied cognitive science.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Julian Kiverstein, Erik Rietveld, Heleen A. Slagter, Damiaan Denys
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Pathology of Self-Confidence?
published pages: 369-372, ISSN: 1364-6613, DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2019.02.005
Trends in Cognitive Sciences 23/5 2019-09-04
2019 Julian Kiverstein, Ludger van Dijk, Erik Rietveld
The field and landscape of affordances: Koffka’s two environments revisited
published pages: 1-18, ISSN: 0039-7857, DOI: 10.1007/s11229-019-02123-x
Synthese 20 March 2019 2019-09-04
2017 Ludger van Dijk, Erik Rietveld
Foregrounding Sociomaterial Practice in Our Understanding of Affordances: The Skilled Intentionality Framework
published pages: , ISSN: 1664-1078, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01969
Frontiers in Psychology 7 2019-09-02
2016 Jelle Bruineberg, Julian Kiverstein, Erik Rietveld
The anticipating brain is not a scientist: the free-energy principle from an ecological-enactive perspective
published pages: , ISSN: 0039-7857, DOI: 10.1007/s11229-016-1239-1
Synthese 2019-09-02
2017 Julian Kiverstein, Mark Miller, Erik Rietveld
The feeling of grip: novelty, error dynamics, and the predictive brain
published pages: , ISSN: 0039-7857, DOI: 10.1007/s11229-017-1583-9
Synthese 2019-09-02
2017 Julian Kiverstein, Erik Rietveld, Damiaan Denys
Could Closed-Loop DBS Enhance a Person\'s Feeling of Being Free?
published pages: 86-87, ISSN: 2150-7740, DOI: 10.1080/21507740.2017.1320331
AJOB Neuroscience 8/2 2019-09-02
2017 Ronald Rietveld, Erik Rietveld, David Habets
The Tide of History
published pages: 86-89, ISSN: 0003-861X, DOI:
The Architectural Review 2019-09-02
2017 Erik Rietveld, Ronald Rietveld
Hardcore Heritage: Imagination for Preservation
published pages: , ISSN: 1664-1078, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01995
Frontiers in Psychology 8 2019-09-02
2018 Jelle Bruineberg, Erik Rietveld, Thomas Parr, Leendert van Maanen, Karl J Friston
Free-energy minimization in joint agent-environment systems: A niche construction perspective
published pages: 161-178, ISSN: 0022-5193, DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2018.07.002
Journal of Theoretical Biology 455 2019-09-02
2018 Jelle Bruineberg, Anthony Chemero, Erik Rietveld
General ecological information supports engagement with affordances for ‘higher’ cognition
published pages: , ISSN: 0039-7857, DOI: 10.1007/s11229-018-1716-9
Synthese 2019-09-02
2018 Michael Kirchhoff, Thomas Parr, Ensor Palacios, Karl Friston, Julian Kiverstein
The Markov blankets of life: autonomy, active inference and the free energy principle
published pages: 20170792, ISSN: 1742-5689, DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2017.0792
Journal of The Royal Society Interface 15/138 2019-09-02
2018 Julian D Kiverstein, Erik Rietveld
Reconceiving representation-hungry cognition: an ecological-enactive proposal
published pages: 147-163, ISSN: 1059-7123, DOI: 10.1177/1059712318772778
Adaptive Behavior 26/4 2019-09-02
2017 Erik Rietveld, Ronald Rietveld, Janno Martens
Trusted strangers: social affordances for social cohesion
published pages: , ISSN: 1568-7759, DOI: 10.1007/s11097-017-9554-7
Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2019-09-02
2018 Ludger van Dijk, Erik Rietveld
Situated anticipation
published pages: , ISSN: 0039-7857, DOI: 10.1007/s11229-018-02013-8
Synthese 2019-09-02
2018 Julian Kiverstein
Free Energy and the Self: An Ecological–Enactive Interpretation
published pages: , ISSN: 0167-7411, DOI: 10.1007/s11245-018-9561-5
Topoi 2019-09-02

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