Out of habit

Synthese 198 (12):11161-11185 (2020)
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This paper argues that habits, just like beliefs, can guide intentional action. To do this, a variety of real-life cases where a person acts habitually but contrary to her beliefs are discussed. The cases serve as dissociations showing that intentional agency is possible without doxastic guidance. The upshot is a model for thinking about the rationality of habitual action and the rationalizing role that habits can play in it. The model highlights the role that our history and institutions play in shaping what actions become habitual for us.

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Santiago Amaya
University of the Andes


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