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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
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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