Habit and Intention

Philosophia 45 (3):1129-1148 (2017)
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Abstract

Several authors have argued that the things one does in the course of skilled and habitual activity present a difficult case for the ‘standard story’ of action. They are things intentionally done, but they do not seem to be suitably related to mental states. I suggest that once manifestations of habit are properly distinguished from exercises of skills and other kinds of spontaneous acts, we can see that habit raises a distinctive sort of problem. I examine certain responses that have been given, as well as responses that could be given on behalf of the standard story to the problems presented by habitual activity. These responses rely on the idea of a kind of intention that does not ensue from conscious thought or deliberation. I raise three different objections to this line of response. The conclusion is that habit explains aspects of human behavior that cannot be accounted by ascribing intentions of any kind.

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Author's Profile

Christos Douskos
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

References found in this work

Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - London, England: Dover Publications.
Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Intention, plans, and practical reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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