mercredi 28 février 2018

The Puzzle of Skilled Action (M. Mylopoulos)

Conférence | Talk

(Carleton University)

The Puzzle of Skilled Action

The puzzle of skilled action is that of explaining how it is that skilled action exhibits robust intelligence despite being largely governed by automatic control processes that are often characterized as brute, reflex-like, and paradigmatically unintelligent. Recently, some have argued that the automatic control involved in skill is sensitive in key respects to the semantic content of an agent’s intentions and other propositional attitude states, and is thereby genuinely intelligent, or "proto-intelligent", contrary to what others have assumed (e.g., Fridland 2014, 2016; Levy 2017). In this talk, I argue that, though automatic control is indeed sensitive to the semantic content of cognitive states, and thereby cognitively permeable, it is nonetheless informationally encapsulated to a significant degree, so that this sensitivity is not the best way to account for its intelligence. I offer an alternative account of the intelligence of automatic control that appeals to hierarchical action representations at a level that is intermediate between intentions and motor representations, and draw out implications of this view for solving the puzzle of skilled action, as well as other nearby puzzles in action theory.

Friday, March 9th, 2018

University of Ottawa
Desmarais Hall
Room 8161

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