Habit and Intention

Philosophia 45 (3):1129-1148 (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,088

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

On Habit.Clare Carlisle - 2014 - New York: Routledge.
Bad habit or considered decision? The need for a closer examination of prospective parents' views. Harwood - 2014 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 7 (1):46-50.
The Significance of Habit.Steve Matthews - forthcoming - New Content is Available for Journal of Moral Philosophy.
Ravaisson and the force of habit.Mark Sinclair - 2011 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (1):65-85.
Racist habits: A phenomenological analysis of racism and the habitual body.Helen Ngo - 2016 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 42 (9):847-872.
Explaining Actions with Habits.Bill Pollard - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (1):57 - 69.
Between freedom and necessity: Félix ravaisson on habit and the moral life.Clare Carlisle - 2010 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (2):123 – 145.
Habit and History.Robert N. Bellah - 2001 - Ethical Perspectives 8 (3):156-167.


Added to PP

92 (#174,849)

6 months
12 (#137,533)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

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.

View all 50 references / Add more references