Applying Intelligence to the Reflexes: embodied skills and habits between Dreyfus and Descartes

Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 42 (1):78-103 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX


‘There is no place in the phenomenology of fully absorbed coping’, writes Hubert Dreyfus, ‘for mindfulness. In flow, as Sartre sees, there are only attractive and repulsive forces drawing appropriate activity out of an active body’1. Among the many ways in which history animates dynamical systems at a range of distinctive timescales, the phenomena of embodied human habit, skilful movement, and absorbed coping are among the most pervasive and mundane, and the most philosophically puzzling. In this essay we examine both habitual and skilled movement, sketching the outlines of a multidimensional framework within which the many differences across distinctive cases and domains might be fruitfully understood. Both the range of movement phenomena which can plausibly be seen as instances of habit or skill, and the space of possible theories of such phenomena are richer and more disparate than philosophy easily encompasses. We seek to bring phenomenology into contact with relevant movements in psychological theories of skilful action, in the belief that phenomenological philosophy and cognitive science can be allies rather than antagonists

Similar books and articles

"Hubert Dreyfus: Skillful Coping and the Nature of Everyday Expertise".Justin F. White - 2020 - In Tobias Keiling & Christopher Erhard (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Phenomenology of Agency. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 219–234.
Hubert Dreyfus on Practical and Embodied Intelligence.Kristina Gehrman & John Schwenkler - 2020 - In Ellen Fridland & Carlotta Pavese (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Skill and Expertise. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 123-132.
Yoga From the Mat Up: How words alight on bodies.Doris McIlwain & John Sutton - 2014 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (6):655-673.
Yoga From the Mat Up: How words alight on bodies.Doris McIlwain & John Sutton - 2013 - Educational Philosophy and Theory (6):1-19.
Dreyfus and Deleuze on L’habitude, Coping, and Trauma in Skill Acquisition.Jack Reynolds - 2006 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (4):539 – 559.
McDowell’s Unexpected Philosophical Ally.Santiago Rey - 2012 - European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy 4 (2).
Choking RECtified: embodied expertise beyond Dreyfus.Daniel D. Hutto & Raúl Sánchez-García - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (2):309-331.


Added to PP

3,817 (#1,699)

6 months
306 (#7,089)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

References found in this work

The return of the myth of the mental.Hubert L. Dreyfus - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):352 – 365.
What should we do with our brain?Catherine Malabou - 2008 - New York: Fordham University Press.
Does bodily awareness interfere with highly skilled movement?Barbara Montero - 2010 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (2):105 – 122.
Response to McDowell.Hubert L. Dreyfus - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):371 – 377.

View all 28 references / Add more references