What can the concept of affective scaffolding do for us?
Saarinen, Jussi A. (2020). What can the concept of affective scaffolding do for us?. Philosophical Psychology, 33 (6), 820-839. DOI: 10.1080/09515089.2020.1761542
Published inPhilosophical Psychology
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The concept of affective scaffolding designates the various ways in which we manipulate the environment to influence our affective lives. In this article, I present a constructive critique of recent discussion on affective scaffolding. In Part 1, I summarize how the theories of situated mind and niche construction contribute to a multidimensional notion of scaffolding. In Part 2, I focus specifically on affective scaffolding and argue that current ambiguity over its distinctive criteria causes uncertainty as to how the concept can and should be used. In Part 3, I identify and examine two possible responses to the suggested state of conceptual ambiguity. The first, restrictive option is to keep pushing for more definite criteria. The second, permissive option is to embrace and work with a broad understanding of affective scaffolding. I argue that the latter choice is more pragmatic and productive. To conclude, I summarize where my examination leaves us in regard to ongoing theoretical work on affective scaffolding. ...