Propositional attitudes and embodied skills in the philosophy of action

William Hasselberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Propositionalism in the philosophy of action is the popular view that intentional actions are bodily movements caused and rationalized by certain ‘internal’ propositional attitude states that constitute the agent's perspective. I attack propositionalism's background claim that the genuinely mental/cognitive dimension of human action resides solely in some range of ‘internal’ agency-conferring representational states that causally trigger, and thus are always conceptually disentangle-able from, bodily activity itself. My opposing claim, following Ryle, Wittgenstein, and others, is that mentality and intentionality can be constitutively implicated in bodily actions themselves, as exercises of a distinctive form of embodied practical understanding. I attempt to show this by attending to the fine-grained contours of various skillful actions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-476
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Journal of Philosophy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


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