Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (2):105 – 122 (2010)
AbstractIt is widely thought that focusing on highly skilled movements while performing them hinders their execution. Once you have developed the ability to tee off in golf, play an arpeggio on the piano, or perform a pirouette in ballet, attention to what your body is doing is thought to lead to inaccuracies, blunders, and sometimes even utter paralysis. Here I re-examine this view and argue that it lacks support when taken as a general thesis. Although bodily awareness may often interfere with well-developed rote skills, like climbing stairs, I suggest that it is typically not detrimental to the skills of expert athletes, performing artists, and other individuals who endeavor to achieve excellence. Along the way, I present a critical analysis of some philosophical theories and behavioral studies on the relationship between attention and bodily movement, an explanation of why attention may be beneficial at the highest level of performance and an error theory that explains why many have thought the contrary. Though tentative, I present my view as a challenge to the widespread starting assumption in research on highly skilled movement that at the pinnacle of skill attention to one's movement is detrimental
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Citations of this work
Know-How as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Lowenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
Scaffoldings of the Affective Mind.Giovanna Colombetti & Joel Krueger - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1157-1176.
Applying Intelligence to the Reflexes: Embodied Skills and Habits Between Dreyfus and Descartes.John Sutton, Doris McIlwain, Wayne Christensen & Andrew Geeves - 2011 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 42 (1):78-103.
Cognition in Skilled Action: Meshed Control and the Varieties of Skill Experience.Wayne Christensen, John Sutton & Doris J. F. McIlwain - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (1):37-66.
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