Thought in Action: Expertise and the Conscious Mind

Hardcover | June 8, 2016

byBarbara Gail Montero

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How does thinking affect doing? There is a widely held view - both in academia and in the popular press - that thinking about what you are doing, as you are doing it, hinders performance. Once you have acquired the ability to putt a golf ball, play an arpeggio on the piano, or parallel-park,reflecting on your actions leads to inaccuracies, blunders, and sometimes even utter paralysis - that's what is widely believed. Experts, according to this view, don't need to try to do it; they just do it. But is this true? After exploring some of the contemporary and historical manifestations ofthe idea that highly accomplished skills are automatic and effortless, Barbara Gail Montero develops a theory of expertise which emphasizes the role of the conscious mind in expert action. She aims to dispel various myths about experts who proceed without any understanding of what guides theiraction. (For example, that proverbial chicken sexer who can't explain why he makes his judgments? He simply doesn't exist.) Montero's critical task also involves analyzing research in both philosophy and psychology that is taken to show that conscious control and explicit monitoring of one's movements impedes well practiced skills. She explores a wide range of real-life examples of optimal performance-culled from sports,the performing arts, chess, nursing, medicine, the military and elsewhere-and draws from psychology, neuroscience, and literature to offer a refreshing and persuasive view of expertise, according to which expert action generally is and ought to be thoughtful, effortful, and reflective

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How does thinking affect doing? There is a widely held view - both in academia and in the popular press - that thinking about what you are doing, as you are doing it, hinders performance. Once you have acquired the ability to putt a golf ball, play an arpeggio on the piano, or parallel-park,reflecting on your actions leads to inaccurac...

Barbara Gail Montero (B.A. University of California at Berkeley, Ph.D. University of Chicago) is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York. She has been awarded research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. ...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pagesPublished:June 8, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199596778

ISBN - 13:9780199596775

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Table of Contents

Introduction: What Can a Philosopher Tell you about Expertise?1. 'Don't think, dear; just do' and Other Manifestations of the Just-do-it Principle2. Just-Do-It versus Cognition-in-Action3. What is an Expert?4. Does Thinking Interfere with Doing?5. Thinking Fast6. Continuous Improvement7. You Can't Try Too Hard8. Effortlessness with Effort9. The Pleasure of Movement and the Awareness of the Self10. The Aesthetic Experience of Expert Movement11. Intuition, Rationality, and Chess Expertise12. Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll, and the Meaning of LifeBibliography