Non-rational aspects of skilled agency

Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2267-2289 (2016)
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This paper criticizes two closely connected rationalist views about human agency. The first of these views, rationalism about agential control, claims that the capacities for agential control in normal adult human beings are rational capacities. The second view, rationalism about action, claims that the capacities for agential control in virtue of which the things we do count as our actions are rational capacities. The arguments of the paper focus on aspects of technical skills that control integral details of skillful action, like the details of a baseball player’s pitching technique. I argue that these aspects of technical skills are largely non-rational capacities, but are nonetheless capacities for agential control, and can help make the things we do count as actions. While rational capacities do have a central role in human agency, their importance should not lead us to neglect the significant constitutive role of non-rational capacities in our agency.



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References found in this work

Mind and World.John Henry McDowell - 1994 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Mind and World.Huw Price & John McDowell - 1994 - Philosophical Books 38 (3):169-181.
Virtue and Reason.John Mcdowell - 1979 - The Monist 62 (3):331-350.

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