Synthese 199 (5-6):12819-12842 (2021)

Authors
Jelle Bruineberg
University of Amsterdam
Erik Rietveld
University of Amsterdam
Julian Kiverstein
University of Amsterdam
Abstract
In everyday situations, and particularly in some sport and working contexts, humans face an inherently unpredictable and uncertain environment. All sorts of unpredictable and unexpected things happen but typically people are able to skillfully adapt. In this paper, we address two key questions in cognitive science. First, how is an agent able to bring its previously learned skill to bear on a novel situation? Second, how can an agent be both sensitive to the particularity of a given situation, while remaining flexibly poised for many other possibilities for action? We will argue that both the sensitivity to novel situations and the sensitivity to a multiplicity of action possibilities are enabled by the property of skilled agency that we will call metastable attunement. We characterize a skilled agent’s flexible interactions with a dynamically changing environment in terms of metastable dynamics in agent-environment systems. What we find in metastability is the realization of two competing tendencies: the tendency of the agent to express their intrinsic dynamics and the tendency to search for new possibilities. Metastably attuned agents are ready to engage with a multiplicity of affordances, allowing for a balance between stability and flexibility. On the one hand, agents are able to exploit affordances they are attuned to, while at the same time being ready to flexibly explore for other affordances. Metastable attunement allows agents to smoothly transition between these possible configurations so as to adapt their behaviour to what the particular situation requires. We go on to describe the role metastability plays in learning of new skills, and in skilful behaviour more generally. Finally, drawing upon work in art, architecture and sports science, we develop a number of perspectives on how to investigate metastable attunement in real life situations.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03355-6
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 68,975
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Phaedo 93 a 11–94 B 3.W. F. Hicken - 1954 - Classical Quarterly 4 (1-2):16-.
Attention in Skilled Behavior: An Argument for Pluralism.Alex Dayer & Carolyn Dicey Jennings - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):615-638.
On the Theory of Metastable States.A. I. Kirillov - 1997 - Foundations of Physics 27 (12):1701-1708.
Context-Switching and Responsiveness to Real Relevance.Erik Rietveld - 2012 - In Julian Kiverstein & Michael Wheeler (eds.), Heidegger and Cognitive Science. Palgrave-Macmillan.
Relationality and Attunement in Teaching Christian Ethics.Anna Abram - 2020 - Studies in Christian Ethics 33 (1):55-60.
Attunement and Multispecies Communication in Fermentation.Maya Hey - 2021 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 7 (3).
Manifestation of Realized and Unrealized Essence.Adil Asadov - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 1:21-24.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-08-12

Total views
4 ( #1,273,342 of 2,498,295 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #282,621 of 2,498,295 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes