Explaining Actions with Habits

American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (1):57 - 69 (2006)
Abstract
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 a pattern of a particular kind of behaviour which is regularly performed in characteristic circumstances, and has become automatic for that agent due to this repetition.
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