Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):507-526 (2021)

Daniel Burnston
Tulane University
I draw on empirical results from perceptual and motor learning to argue for an anti-intellectualist position on skill. Anti-intellectualists claim that skill or know-how is non-propositional. Recent proponents of the view have stressed the flexible but fine-grained nature of skilled control as supporting their position. However, they have left the nature of the mental representations underlying such control undertheorized. This leaves open several possible strategies for the intellectualist, particularly with regard to skill learning. Propositional knowledge may structure the inputs to sensorimotor learning, may constitute the outcomes of said learning, or may be needed for the employment of learned skill. I argue that sensorimotor learning produces multi-scale associational representations, and that these representations are of the right sort to underlie flexible and fine-grained control. I then suggest that their content is vitally indeterminate with regard to propositional content attribution, because they exhibit a kind of open-ended structure. I articulate this kind of structure, and use it to respond to the three intellectualist strategies. I then show how the perspective I advance offers insights for understanding both instruction and expert practice.
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DOI 10.1007/s13164-020-00506-5
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References found in this work BETA

Skill.Jason Stanley & Timothy Williamson - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):713-726.
Intention and Motor Representation in Purposive Action.Stephen Andrew Butterfill & Corrado Sinigaglia - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):119-145.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Modularity of the Motor System.Myrto Mylopoulos - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (3):376-393.

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