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Anscombe, Elizabeth, , . Intention
, London: Harvard University Press.
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Added by: Jie Gao, Contributed by:

Summary: Three core problems about intention are discussed: (i) expressions of intention; (ii) the intentional or non-intentional character of action; (iii) the intention of an action, or with which it is done. The book attempts to show in detail that the natural and widely accepted picture of what we mean by an intention gives rise to insoluble problems and must be abandoned.

Comment: Intention is one of the masterworks of the twentieth-century philosophy in English. Donald Davidson, for instance, has called it the most important philosophical work on action since Aristotle. It is a must-have for courses on philosophy of action and philosophy of mind (broadly construed). As other classics, it is a book that is not easy to understand. It might be a good idea to supplement it with some guide or notes.

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Fridland, Ellen, , . They’ve lost control: reflections on skill
2014, Synthese 191 (12):2729-2750.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by:

Abstract: In this paper, I submit that it is the controlled part of skilled action, that is, that part of an action that accounts for the exact, nuanced ways in which a skilled performer modifies, adjusts and guides her performance for which an adequate, philosophical theory of skill must account. I will argue that neither Jason Stanley nor Hubert Dreyfus have an adequate account of control. Further, and perhaps surprisingly, I will argue that both Stanley and Dreyfus relinquish an account of control for precisely the same reason: each reduce control to a passive, mechanistic, automatic process, which then prevents them from producing a substantive account of how controlled processes can be characterized by seemingly intelligent features and integrated with personal-level states. I will end by introducing three different kinds of control, which are constitutive of skilled action: strategic control, selective, top-down, automatic attention, and motor control.

Comment: It would be suitable to teach this paper in a module on skill, especially if considering the relationship between skill and control. It would be most suitable in a senior year module.

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Wiseman, Rachael, , . Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Anscombe’s Intention
2016, Routledge.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by: Will Hornett

Publisher’s Note: G. E. M. Anscombe’s Intention is a classic of twentieth-century philosophy. The work has been enormously influential despite being a dense and largely misunderstood text. It is a standard reference point for anyone engaging with philosophy of action and philosophy of psychology.

In this Routledge Philosophy GuideBook, Rachael Wiseman situates Intention in relation to Anscombe’s moral philosophy and philosophy of mind considers the influence of Aquinas, Aristotle, Frege, and Wittgenstein on the method and content of Intention adopts a structure for assessing the text that shows how Anscombe unifies the three aspects of the concept of intention considers the influence and implications of the piece whilst distinguishing it from subsequent work in the philosophy of action

Ideal for anyone wanting to understand and gain a perspective on Elizabeth Anscombe’s seminal work, this guide is an essential introduction, useful in the study of the philosophy of action, ethics, philosophy of psychology and related areas.

Comment: Wiseman’s guidebook is essential reading for a course directly on Anscombe’s work and chapters or sections could be set alongside pieces by Anscombe. Early chapters could also be set for First Year introductory readings on Anscombe’s approach to the philosophy of action and her place in the history of philosophy.

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