Synthese 192 (5):1445-1466 (2015)

Andrew Buskell
Cambridge University
In a recent article, Fridland characterises a central capacity of skill users, an aspect she calls ‘control’. Control, according to Fridland, is evidenced in the way in which skill users are able to marshal a variety of mental and bodily resources in order to keep skill deployment operating fluidly and appropriately. According to Fridland, two prevalent contemporary accounts of skill—Stanley & Krakauer’s and Hubert Dreyfus’s —fail to account for the features of control, and do so necessarily. While I agree with Fridland that features of control represent desiderata for a satisfactory characterisation of the capacity of skills to respond to perturbations, I argue that her account is limited in two ways; first it is applicable only to a particular class of skills I call motor skills, leaving other classes of skills unaccounted for; second, she employs a problematic distinction that rules out the automatic and pre-reflective use of discursive, propositional cues in skill deployment. I put forward a critical elaboration of Fridland’s account based on two more general characteristic features of skills I call opportunistic robustness and normative sensitivity. I suggest that these features avoid the difficulties isolated, while preserving the substance of Fridland’s account of control
Keywords Skill  Normativity  Rationality  Intellectualism  Phenomenology  Control
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0634-8
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References found in this work BETA

Phenomenology of Perception.Maurice Merleau-Ponty - 1962 - Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey: The Humanities Press.
Phenomenology of Perception.Aron Gurwitsch, M. Merleau-Ponty & Colin Smith - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (3):417.

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Citations of this work BETA

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Anti-Intellectualism for the Learning and Employment of Skill.Daniel C. Burnston - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (3):507-526.

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