Habits

Edited by Juan Pablo Bermúdez (Universidad Externado De Colombia, Université de Neuchâtel)
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  1. The Backside of Habit: Notes on Embodied Agency and the Functional Opacity of the Medium.Maria Brincker - forthcoming - In Habits: Pragmatist Approaches from Cognitive Neuroscience to Social Science by Caruana F. & Testa I. (Eds.). Cambridge University Press.
    In this chapter what I call the “backside” of habit is explored. I am interested in the philosophical implications of the physical and physiological processes that mediate, and which allow for what comes to appear as almost magic; namely the various sensorimotor associations and integrations that allows us to replay our past experiences, and to in a certain sense perceive potential futures, and to act and bring about anticipated outcomes – without quite knowing how. Thus, the term “backside” is meant (...)
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  2. Habit, Omission and Responsibility.Christos Douskos - forthcoming - Topoi:1-11.
    Given the pervasiveness of habit in human life, the distinctive problems posed by habitual acts for accounts of moral responsibility deserve more attention than they have hitherto received. But whereas it is hard to find a systematic treatment habitual acts within current accounts of moral responsibility, proponents of such accounts have turned their attention to a topic which, I suggest, is a closely related one: unwitting omissions. Habitual acts and unwitting omissions raise similar issues for a theory of responsibility because (...)
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  3. The Significance of Habit.Steve Matthews - forthcoming - New Content is Available for Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    _ Source: _Page Count 22 Analysis of the concept of habit has been relatively neglected in the contemporary analytic literature. This paper is an attempt to rectify this lack. The strategy begins with a description of some paradigm cases of habit which are used to derive five features as the basis for an explicative definition. It is argued that habits are social, acquired through repetition, enduring, environmentally activated, and automatic. The enduring nature of habits is captured by their being dispositions (...)
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  4. Willpower with and Without Effort.George Ainslie - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:1-81.
    Most authors who discuss willpower assume that everyone knows what it is, but our assumptions differ to such an extent that we talk past each other. We agree that willpower is the psychological function that resists temptations – variously known as impulses, addictions, or bad habits; that it operates simultaneously with temptations, without prior commitment; and that use of it is limited by its cost, commonly called effort, as well as by the person's skill at executive functioning. However, accounts are (...)
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  5. Resolve is Always Effortful.Olivier Massin & Bastien Gauchot - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44.
    Ainslie argues there are two main kinds of willpower: suppression, which is necessarily effortful, and resolve, which is not. We agree with the distinction but argue that all resolve is effortful. Alleged cases of effortless resolve are indeed cases of what Ainslie calls habits, namely stable results of prior uses of resolve.
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  6. Habits and Skills in the Domain of Joint Action.Judith H. Martens - 2020 - Topoi:1-13.
    Dichotomous thinking about mental phenomena is abundant in philosophy. One particularly tenacious dichotomy is between “automatic” and “controlled” processes. In this characterization automatic and unintelligent go hand in hand, as do non-automatic and intelligent. Accounts of skillful action have problematized this dichotomous conceptualization and moved towards a more nuanced understanding of human agency. This binary thinking is, however, still abundant in the philosophy of joint action. Habits and skills allow us agentic ways of guiding complex action routines that would otherwise (...)
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  7. Behaving, Mattering, and Habits Called Aesthetics.Adrian Mróz - 2020 - Polish Journal of Aesthetics 57 (2):57-102.
    In this two-part article, I propose a new materialist understanding of behavior. The term “mattering” in the title refers to sense-making behavior that matters, that is, to significant habits and materialized behaviors. By significant habits I mean protocols, practices and routines that generate ways of reading material signs and fixed accounts of movement. I advance a notion of behaving that stresses its materiality and sensory shaping, and I provide select examples from music. I note that current definitions of behavior do (...)
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  8. Practical Knowledge and Habits of Mind.Will Small - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 54 (2):377-397.
    Education aims at more than supplying learners with information, or knowledge of facts. Even when the transmission of information is at stake, abilities relevant to using that information are among the things that teachers aim, or ought to aim, to inculcate. We may think that abilities for critical reflection on knowledge, and critical thinking more generally, are central to what teachers should cultivate in their students. Moreover, we may hope that students acquire not merely the ability to (e.g.) think critically, (...)
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  9. Embodied Cognition, Habit, and Natural Agency in Hegel’s Anthropology.Italo Testa - 2020 - In Marina F. Bykova & Kenneth R. Westphal (eds.), The Palgrave Hegel Handbook. Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 395-416.
    The aim of this chapter is to discuss the central role of the notion of " habit " (Gewohnheit) in Hegel's theory of " embodiment " (Verleiblichung) and to show that the philosophical outcome of the Anthropology is that habit, understood as a sensorimotor life form, is not only an enabling condition for there to be mindedness, but is more strongly an ontological constitutive condition of all its levels of manifestation. Moreover, I will argue that Hegel's approach somehow makes a (...)
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  10. The Spontaneousness of Skill and the Impulsivity of Habit.Christos Douskos - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4305-4328.
    The objective of this paper is to articulate a distinction between habit and bodily skill as different ways of acting without deliberation. I start by elaborating on a distinction between habit and skill as different kinds of dispositions. Then I argue that this distinction has direct implications for the varieties of automaticity exhibited in habitual and skilful bodily acts. The argument suggests that paying close attention to the metaphysics of agency can help to articulate more precisely questions regarding the varieties (...)
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  11. An Anscombean Perspective on Habitual Action.Annemarie Kalis & Dawa Ometto - 2019 - Topoi 1.
    Much of the time, human beings seem to rely on habits. Habits are learned behaviours directly elicited by context cues, and insensitive to short-term changes in goals: therefore they are sometimes irrational. But even where habitual responses are rational, it can seem as if they are nevertheless not done for reasons. For, on a common understanding of habitual behaviour, agents’ intentions do not play any role in the coming about of such responses. This paper discusses under what conditions we can (...)
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  12. Habit, Bodyhood, and Merleau-Ponty.Kamil Lemanek - 2019 - Diametros 60:52-60.
    The phenomenal body is an intriguing concept, and Merleau-Ponty’s notion of habit, coupled with motor intentionality, provides a novel perspective on its inner workings. I contend that his portrayal of habit tacitly bears two faces – motoric habit and instrumental habit respectively. The former is an attunement to some bodily possibilities that are already at our disposal while the latter is an explicit relation to external objects and a process of incorporating those objects into our own bodies. These two notions (...)
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  13. Situating Attention and Habit in the Landscape of Affordances.Elisa Magrì - 2019 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 10 (2):120-136.
    : This paper aims to situate the roles of attention and habit in contemporary approaches to embodied cognition with particular regard to the conceptualisation of affordances. While Chemero has argued that affordances have a relational character that rules out dispositions, Rietveld and Kiverstein have suggested that engaging with affordances amounts to exercising skills. By critically reconsidering the distinction between dispositions and abilities proposed by Chemero, as well as the standard theory of habit that underpins accounts of skilful coping, I propose (...)
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  14. Habitual Weakness.Kenneth Silver - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (4):270-277.
    The standard case of weakness of will involves a strong temptation leading us to reconsider or act against our judgments. Here, however, I consider cases of what I call ‘habitual weakness', where we resolve to do one thing yet do another not to satisfy any grand desire, but out of habit. After giving several examples, I suggest that habitual weakness has been under-discussed in the literature and explore why. These cases are worth highlighting for their ubiquity, and I show three (...)
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  15. An Integrative Understanding of Habit to Explore its Neural Correlates.J. Bernacer - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (7-8):112-134.
    Scientific research leans on the theoretical assumptions that have been taken for granted through decades of research. Experimental psychology, mostly rooted in experiments with rodents, defines habits as rigid, unconscious, and non-teleological behaviours opposed to goal-directed actions. This definition has been transferred to human research as such, and habits are thus viewed as compulsions, obsessions, slips-of-action, and addictions. From an experiential point of view, however, humans possess habits that go beyond these behaviours. According to Aristotle, habits are dispositions of thought (...)
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  16. Pierre Hadot on Habit, Reason, and Spiritual Exercises.Daniel del Nido - 2018 - Journal of Religious Ethics 46 (1):7-36.
    This essay is a reappraisal of Pierre Hadot's concept of spiritual exercises in response to recent criticisms of his work. The author argues that contrary to the claims of his critics, Hadot articulates a compelling argument that spiritual exercises that employ imaginative, rhetorical, and cognitive techniques are both necessary for and successful at producing a subject in which reason is integrated into human character. Such exercises are critical for overcoming the effects of habit, as a result of which everyday conduct (...)
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  17. Deliberation and Automaticity in Habitual Acts.Christos Douskos - 2018 - Ethics in Progress 9 (1):25-43.
    Most philosophers and psychologists assume that habitual acts do not ensue from deliberation, but are direct responses to the circumstances: habit essentially involves a variety of automaticity. My objective in this paper is to show that this view is unduly restrictive. A habit can explain an act in various ways. Pointing to the operation of automaticity is only one of them. I draw attention to the fact that acquired automaticity is one outgrowth of habituation that is relevant to explanation, but (...)
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  18. The Habitual Body and its Role in Collective Memory Formation.C. Tewes - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (7-8):135-157.
    In recent decades many facets of habitual body memory have been explored in ever greater depth in the field of phenomenological research. As a result, one can regard this type of memory as an important exemplification of the strong embodiment thesis, i.e. the thesis that the body plays not only a causal but also a constitutive role with regard to cognitive processes. However, it is still an open research question how, in particular, to evaluate the significance of the habitual body (...)
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  19. Do We Reflect While Performing Skillful Actions? Automaticity, Control, and the Perils of Distraction.Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (7):896-924.
    From our everyday commuting to the gold medalist’s world-class performance, skillful actions are characterized by fine-grained, online agentive control. What is the proper explanation of such control? There are two traditional candidates: intellectualism explains skillful agentive control by reference to the agent’s propositional mental states; anti-intellectualism holds that propositional mental states or reflective processes are unnecessary since skillful action is fully accounted for by automatic coping processes. I examine the evidence for three psychological phenomena recently held to support anti-intellectualism and (...)
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  20. The Significance of Habit.Steve Matthews - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (3):394-415.
    _ Source: _Page Count 22 Analysis of the concept of habit has been relatively neglected in the contemporary analytic literature. This paper is an attempt to rectify this lack. The strategy begins with a description of some paradigm cases of habit which are used to derive five features as the basis for an explicative definition. It is argued that habits are social, acquired through repetition, enduring, environmentally activated, and automatic. The enduring nature of habits is captured by their being dispositions (...)
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  21. Practical Reason, Habit, and Care in Aristotle.Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2016 - Praxis Filosófica 43:77–102.
    Interpretation of Aristotle’s theory of action in the last few decades has tended toward an intellectualist position, according to which reason is in charge of setting the goals of action. This position has recently been criticized by the revival of anti-intellectualism (particularly from J. Moss’ work), according to which character, and not reason, sets the goals of action. In this essay I argue that neither view can sufficiently account for the complexities of Aristotle’s theory, and propose an intermediate account, which (...)
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  22. Habits, Skills and Embodied Experiences: A Contribution to Philosophy of Physical Education.Øyvind F. Standal & Kenneth Aggerholm - 2016 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 10 (3):269-282.
    One of the main topics in philosophical work dealing with physical education is if and how the subject can justify its educational value. Acquisition of practical knowledge in the form of skills and the provision of positive and meaningful embodied experiences are central to the justification of physical education. The purpose of this article is to explore the relationship between skill and embodied experience in physical education through the notion and concept of habit. The literature on phenomenology of skill acquisition (...)
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  23. A History of Habit: From Aristotle to Bourdieu.Tom Sparrow & Adam Hutchinson (eds.) - 2013 - Lexington Books.
    The essays collected here demonstrate that the philosophy of habit is not confined to the work of just a handful of thinkers, but traverses the entire history of Western philosophy and continues to thrive in contemporary theory. A History of Habit: From Aristotle to Bourdieu is the first book to document the richness and diversity of this history. It demonstrates the breadth, flexibility, and explanatory power of the concept of habit as well as its enduring significance. It makes the case (...)
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  24. Automatic Actions: Challenging Causalism.Ezio Di Nucci - 2011 - Rationality Markets and Morals 2 (1):179-200.
    I argue that so-called automatic actions – routine performances that we successfully and effortlessly complete without thinking such as turning a door handle, downshifting to 4th gear, or lighting up a cigarette – pose a challenge to causalism, because they do not appear to be preceded by the psychological states which, according to the causal theory of action, are necessary for intentional action. I argue that causalism cannot prove that agents are simply unaware of the relevant psychological states when they (...)
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  25. David Hume on custom and habit and living with skepticism.John Christian Laursen - 2011 - Daimon: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 52:87-99.
    This article is an exploration of David Hume's philosophy of custom and habit as a way of living with skepticism. For Hume, man is a habit-forming animal, and all politics and history take place within a history of custom and habit. This is not a bad thing: life without custom and habit would be a nightmare. Hume draws on the "new science" of thinkers such as Locke, Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Hutcheson, and Butler to foreground the importance of custom and habit. His (...)
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  26. Batting, Habit, and Memory: The Embodied Mind and the Nature of Skill.John Sutton - 2007 - Sport in Society 10 (5):763-786.
    in Jeremy McKenna (ed), At the Boundaries of Cricket, to be published in 2007 as a special issue of the journal Sport in Society and as a book in the series Sport in the Global Society (Taylor and Francis).
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  27. A New Look at Habits and the Habit-Goal Interface.Wendy Wood & David T. Neal - 2007 - Psychological Review 114 (4):843-863.
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  28. Breaking the Habit: Aristotle on Recidivism and How a Thoroughly Vicious Person Might Begin to Improve.Audrey L. Anton - 2006 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 13 (2):58-66.
    Aristotle’s virtue ethics can teach us about the relationship between our habits and our actions. Throughout his works, Aristotle explains much about how one may develop a virtuous character, and little about how one might change from one character type to another. In recent years criminal law has been concerned with the issue of recidivism and how our system might reform the criminals we return to society more effectively. This paper considers how Aristotle might say a vicious person could change (...)
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  29. Actions, Habits and Constitution.Bill Pollard - 2006 - Ratio 19 (2):229–248.
    In this paper I offer a critique of the view made popular by Davidson that rationalization is a species of causal explanation, and propose instead that in many cases the explanatory relation is constitutive. Given Davidson’s conception of rationalization, which allows that a huge range of states gathered under the heading ‘pro attitude’ could rationalize an action, I argue that whilst the causal thesis may have some merit for some such ‘attitudes’, it has none for others. The problematic ‘attitudes’ are (...)
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  30. Explaining Actions with Habits.Bill Pollard - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (1):57 - 69.
    From time to time we explain what people do by referring to their habits. We explain somebody’s putting the kettle on in the morning as done through “force of habit”. We explain somebody’s missing a turning by saying that she carried straight on “out of habit”. And we explain somebody’s biting her nails as a manifestation of “a bad habit”. These are all examples of what will be referred to here as habit explanations. Roughly speaking, they explain by referring to (...)
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  31. Can Virtuous Actions Be Both Habitual and Rational?Bill Pollard - 2003 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (4):411-425.
    Virtuous actions seem to be both habitual and rational. But if we combine an intuitive understanding of habituality with the currently predominant paradigm of rational action, these two features of virtuous actions are hard to reconcile. Intuitively, acting habitually is acting as one has before in similar contexts, and automatically, that is, without thinking about it. Meanwhile, contemporary philosophers tend to assume the truth of what I call the reasons theory of rational action, which states that all rational actions are (...)
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  32. Habits as Knowledge Structures: Automaticity in Goal-Directed Behavior.Henk Aarts & Ap Dijksterhuis - 2000 - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 78 (1):53-63.
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  33. The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Hutchinson & Co.
    This now-classic work challenges what Ryle calls philosophy's "official theory," the Cartesians "myth" of the separation of mind and matter. Ryle's linguistic analysis remaps the conceptual geography of mind, not so much solving traditional philosophical problems as dissolving them into the mere consequences of misguided language. His plain language and esstentially simple purpose place him in the traditioin of Locke, Berkeley, Mill, and Russell.
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  34. The Rationality of Habitual Actions.Bill Pollard - unknown
    We are creatures of habit. Familiar ways of doing things in familiar contexts become automatic for us. That is to say, when we acquire a habit we can act without thinking about it at all. Habits free our minds to think about other things. Without this capacity for habitual action our daily lives would be impossible. Our minds would be crowded with innumerable mundane considerations and decisions. Habitual actions are not always mundane. Aristotle famously said that acting morally is a (...)
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