•  515
    Basic Action and Practical Knowledge
    Philosophers' Imprint 19. 2019.
    It is a commonplace in philosophy of action that there is and must be teleologically basic action: something done on an occasion without doing it by means of doing anything else. It is widely believed that basic actions are exercises of skill. As the source of the need for basic action is the structure of practical reasoning, this yields a conception of skill and practical reasoning as complementary but mutually exclusive. On this view, practical reasoning and complex intentional action depend o…Read more
  •  119
    Agency and Practical Abilities
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 80 235-264. 2017.
    Though everyday life accords a great deal of significance to practical abilities—such as the ability to walk, to speak French, to play the piano—philosophers of action pay surprisingly little attention to them. By contrast, abilities are discussed in various other philosophical projects. From these discussions, a partial theory of abilities emerges. If the partial theory—which is at best adequate only to a few examples of practical abilities—were correct, then philosophers of action would be rig…Read more
  •  81
    Ryle on the Explanatory Role of Knowledge How
    Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (5). 2017.
    Contemporary discussions of knowledge how typically focus on the question whether or not knowing how to do ϕ consists in propositional knowledge, and divide the field between intellectualists and anti-intellectualists. This way of framing the issue is said to derive from Gilbert Ryle. I argue that this is a misreading of Ryle, whose primary interest in discussing knowledge how was not epistemological but rather action-theoretical, whose argument against intellectualism has for this reason been m…Read more
  •  64
    The Transmission of Skill
    Philosophical Topics 42 (1): 85-111. 2014.
    The ideas (i) that skill is a form of knowledge and (ii) that it can be taught are commonplace in both ancient philosophy and everyday life. I argue that contemporary epistemology lacks the resources to adequately accommodate them. Intellectualist and anti-intellectualist accounts of knowledge how struggle to represent the transmission of skill via teaching and learning (§II), in part because each adopts a fundamentally individualistic approach to the acquisition of skill that focuses on individ…Read more
  •  60
    Practical Knowledge and the Structure of Action
    In Günter Abel & James Conant (eds.), Rethinking Epistemology Volume 2, De Gruyter. pp. 133-227. 2012.
    I argue that there is a cognition condition on intention and intentional action. If an agent is doing A intentionally, she has knowledge in intention that he is doing A. If an agent intends to do A, she has knowledge in intention that she is going to do A. In both cases, the agent has knowledge of eventual success, in this sense: she knows that it will be no accident if she ends up having done A. In both cases, the agent’s knowledge is of what is happening, or what is going to happen, in the wor…Read more
  •  58
    Teaching and telling
    Philosophical Explorations 17 (3): 372-387. 2014.
    Recent work on testimony has raised questions about the extent to which testimony is a distinctively second-personal phenomenon and the possible epistemic significance of its second-personal aspects. However, testimony, in the sense primarily investigated in recent epistemology, is far from the only way in which we acquire knowledge from others. My goal is to distinguish knowledge acquired from testimony (learning from being told) from knowledge acquired from teaching (learning from being taught…Read more
  •  44
    Bodily Movement and Its Significance
    Philosophical Topics 44 (1): 183-206. 2016.
    I trace the development of one aspect of Fred Stoutland’s thought about action by considering the central role given by contemporary philosophy of action to bodily movement. Those who tell the so-called standard story of action think that actions are bodily movements caused by beliefs and desires, that cause further effects in the world in virtue of which they can be described. Those who hold a disjunctive conception of bodily movement think that actions are bodily movements that involve intenti…Read more
  •  38
    Practical Knowledge and Habits of Mind
    Journal of Philosophy of Education 54 (2): 377-397. 2020.
    Education aims at more than supplying learners with information, or knowledge of facts. Even when the transmission of information is at stake, abilities relevant to using that information are among the things that teachers aim, or ought to aim, to inculcate. We may think that abilities for critical reflection on knowledge, and critical thinking more generally, are central to what teachers should cultivate in their students. Moreover, we may hope that students acquire not merely the ability to (e…Read more
  •  34
    The Intelligence of Virtue and Skill
    Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (2): 229-249. 2021.
    Julia Annas proposes to shed light on the intelligence of virtue through an analogy with the intelligence of practical skills. To do so, she first aims to distinguish genuine skills and skillful actions from mere habits and routine behaviour: like skills, habits are acquired through habituation and issue in action immediately (i.e. unmediated by reasoning about what to do), but the routine behaviour in which habit issues is mindless and unintelligent, and cannot serve to establish or illuminate …Read more