•  224
    They’ve lost control: reflections on skill
    Synthese 191 (12): 2729-2750. 2014.
    In this paper, I submit that it is the controlled part of skilled action, that is, that part of an action that accounts for the exact, nuanced ways in which a skilled performer modifies, adjusts and guides her performance for which an adequate, philosophical theory of skill must account. I will argue that neither Jason Stanley nor Hubert Dreyfus have an adequate account of control. Further, and perhaps surprisingly, I will argue that both Stanley and Dreyfus relinquish an account of control for …Read more
  •  181
    The case for proprioception
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (4): 521-540. 2011.
    In formulating a theory of perception that does justice to the embodied and enactive nature of perceptual experience, proprioception can play a valuable role. Since proprioception is necessarily embodied, and since proprioceptive experience is particularly integrated with one’s bodily actions, it seems clear that proprioception, in addition to, e.g., vision or audition, can provide us with valuable insights into the role of an agent’s corporal skills and capacities in constituting or structuring…Read more
  •  160
    Knowing‐how: Problems and Considerations
    European Journal of Philosophy 23 (3): 703-727. 2015.
    In recent years, a debate concerning the nature of knowing-how has emerged between intellectualists who claim that knowledge-how is reducible to knowledge-that and anti-intellectualists who claim that knowledge-how comprises a unique and irreducible knowledge category. The arguments between these two camps have clustered largely around two issues: intellectualists object to Gilbert Ryle's assertion that knowing-how is a kind of ability, and anti-intellectualists take issue with Jason Stanley and…Read more
  •  158
    Automatically minded
    Synthese 194 (11). 2017.
    It is not rare in philosophy and psychology to see theorists fall into dichotomous thinking about mental phenomena. On one side of the dichotomy there are processes that I will label “unintelligent.” These processes are thought to be unconscious, implicit, automatic, unintentional, involuntary, procedural, and non-cognitive. On the other side, there are “intelligent” processes that are conscious, explicit, controlled, intentional, voluntary, declarative, and cognitive. Often, if a process or beh…Read more
  •  147
    Problems with intellectualism
    Philosophical Studies 165 (3): 879-891. 2013.
    In his most recent book, Stanley (2011b) defends his Intellectualist account of knowledge how. In Know How, Stanley produces the details of a propositionalist theory of intelligent action and also responds to several objections that have been forwarded to this account in the last decade. In this paper, I will focus specifically on one claim that Stanley makes in chapter one of his book: I will focus on Stanley’s claim that automatic mechanisms can be used by the intellectualist in order to ter…Read more
  •  108
    Skill and motor control: intelligence all the way down
    Philosophical Studies 174 (6): 1-22. 2017.
    When reflecting on the nature of skilled action, it is easy to fall into familiar dichotomies such that one construes the flexibility and intelligence of skill at the level of intentional states while characterizing the automatic motor processes that constitute motor skill execution as learned but fixed, invariant, bottom-up, brute-causal responses. In this essay, I will argue that this picture of skilled, automatic, motor processes is overly simplistic. Specifically, I will argue that an adequa…Read more
  •  79
    Reviewing the logic of self-deception
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (1): 22-23. 2011.
    I argue that framing the issue of motivated belief formation and its subsequent social gains in the language of self-deception raises logical difficulties. Two such difficulties are that (1) in trying to provide an evolutionary motive for viewing self-deception as a mechanism to facilitate other-deception, the ease and ubiquity of self-deception are undermined, and (2) because after one has successfully deceived oneself, what one communicates to others, though untrue, is not deceptive, we cannot…Read more
  •  68
    Imitation reconsidered
    Philosophical Psychology 28 (6): 856-880. 2015.
    In the past 20 years or so, the psychological research on imitation has flourished. However, our working definition of imitation has not adequately adapted in order to reflect this research. The closest that we've come to a revamped conception of imitation comes from the work of Michael Tomasello. Despite its numerous virtues, Tomasello's definition is in need of at least two significant amendments, if it is to reflect the current state of knowledge. Accordingly, it is our goal in this paper to …Read more
  •  65
    Skill, Nonpropositional Thought, and the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (1): 105-120. 2015.
    In the current literature, discussions of cognitive penetrability focus largely either on interpreting empirical evidence in ways that is relevant to the question of modularity :343–391, 1999; Wu Philos Stud 165:647–669, 2012; Macpherson Philos Phenomenol Res, 84:24–62, 2012) or in offering epistemological considerations regarding which properties are represented in perception :519–540, 2009, Noûs 46:201–222, 2011; Prinz Perceptual experience, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 434–460, 2006). …Read more
  •  62
    Longer, smaller, faster, stronger: On skills and intelligence
    Philosophical Psychology 32 (5): 759-783. 2019.
    ABSTRACTHow does practice change our behaviors such that they go from being awkward, unskilled actions to elegant, skilled performances? This is the question that I wish to explore in this paper. In the first section of the paper, I will defend the tight connection between practice and skill and then go on to make precise how we ought to construe the concept of practice. In the second section, I will suggest that practice contributes to skill by structuring and automatizing the motor routines co…Read more
  •  60
    One of the hallmarks of virtue is reliably acting well. Such reliable success presupposes that an agent is able to recognize the morally salient features of a situation, and the appropriate response to those features and is motivated to act on this knowledge without internal conflict. Furthermore, it is often claimed that the virtuous person can do this in a spontaneous or intuitive manner. While these claims represent an ideal of what it is to have a virtue, it is less clear how to make good on…Read more
  •  58
    Philosophy of learning
    Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. 2012.
  •  45
    Motor Skill and Moral Virtue
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80 139-170. 2017.
    Virtue ethicists often appeal to practical skill as a way of understanding the nature of virtue. An important commitment of a skill account of virtue is that virtue is learned through practice and not through study, memorization, or reflection alone. In what follows, I will argue that virtue ethicists have only given us half the story. In particular, in focusing on outputs, or on the right actions or responses to moral situations, virtue ethicists have overlooked a crucial facet of virtue: namel…Read more
  •  35
    Intention at the Interface
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3): 481-505. 2021.
    I identify and characterize the kind of personal-level control-structure that is most relevant for skilled action control, namely, what I call, “practical intention”. I differentiate between practical intentions and general intentions not in terms of their function or timing but in terms of their content. I also highlight a distinction between practical intentions and other control mechanisms that are required to explain skilled action. I’ll maintain that all intentions, general and practical, h…Read more
  •  32
    Addiction and embodiment
    with Corinde E. Wiers
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (1): 15-42. 2018.
    Recent experiments have shown that when individuals with a substance use disorder are confronted with drug-related cues, they exhibit an automatically activated tendency to approach these cues. The strength of the drug approach bias has been associated with clinically relevant measures, such as increased drug craving and relapse, and activations in brain reward areas. Retraining the approach bias by means of cognitive bias modification has been demonstrated to decrease relapse rates in patients …Read more
  •  23
    Do as I say and as I do: Imitation, pedagogy, and cumulative culture
    Mind and Language 33 (4): 355-377. 2018.
  •  21
    Skill’s Psychological Structures (review)
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (2): 555-562. 2020.
  •  13
    Addiction and embodiment
    with Corinde Wiers
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (1): 15-42. 2018.
    Recent experiments have shown that when individuals with a substance use disorder are confronted with drug-related cues, they exhibit an automatically activated tendency to approach these cues. The strength of the drug approach bias has been associated with clinically relevant measures, such as increased drug craving and relapse, and activations in brain reward areas. Retraining the approach bias by means of cognitive bias modification has been demonstrated to decrease relapse rates in patients …Read more
  •  11
    Skill and strategic control
    Synthese 1-28. forthcoming.
    This paper provides an account of the strategic control involved in skilled action. When I discuss strategic control, I have in mind the practical goals, plans, and strategies that skilled agents use in order to specify, structure, and organize their skilled actions, which they have learned through practice. The idea is that skilled agents are better than novices not only at implementing the intentions that they have but also at forming the right intentions. More specifically, skilled agents are…Read more
  •  11
    Skill and motor control: intelligence all the way down
    Philosophical Studies 174 (6): 1539-1560. 2017.
    When reflecting on the nature of skilled action, it is easy to fall into familiar dichotomies such that one construes the flexibility and intelligence of skill at the level of intentional states while characterizing the automatic motor processes that constitute motor skill execution as learned but fixed, invariant, bottom-up, brute-causal responses. In this essay, I will argue that this picture of skilled, automatic, motor processes is overly simplistic. Specifically, I will argue that an adequa…Read more
  •  10
    Empirical Consciousness
    In Georg Mohr, Jürgen Stolzenburg & Marcus Willaschek (eds.), Kant-Lexikon, De Gruyter. 2009.
  •  2
    Philosophical questions surrounding skill and expertise can be traced back as far as Ancient Greece, China, and India. In the twentieth century skilled action was an important factor in the work of phenomenologists such as Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty and analytic philosophers including Gilbert Ryle. However, as a subject in its own right it has, until now, remained largely in the background. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Skill and Expertise is an outstanding reference source and the fi…Read more