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Grant number: FB-57978-15

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Barbara G. Montero
CUNY Research Foundation, College of Staten Island (Staten Island, NY 10314-6609)

Thought and Effort in Expert Action

How does thinking affect doing? There is a widely held view that thinking about what you are doing, as you are doing it, interferes with performance. Once you have developed the skill to perform a pirouette, play an arpeggio on the piano, or parallel-park, attention to what you are doing, it is believed, leads to inaccuracies, blunders, and sometimes even utter paralysis. Echoing a theme that one finds in a number of diverse intellectual traditions, the philosopher David Velleman (2008) tells us that, after the requisite training, experts act “without deliberate intention or effort.” But is this true? I am requesting support for the completion of a book, The Myth of ‘Just do it’: Thought and Effort in Expert Action, that develops a theory of expertise according to which expert action is thoughtful, effortful and reflective. Indeed, I argue that experts embody Socratic rationality, as they exemplify both conceptually grounded knowledge of their actions and self-awareness.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Interdisciplinary Studies, Other; Philosophy, Other; Psychology

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2015 – 7/31/2016