Assimilation and control: belief at the lowest levels

Philosophical Studies 177 (2):441-447 (2020)
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The core of Zimmerman’s picture posits an inverse correlation between an action’s automaticity and belief’s role in the action’s execution. This proposal faces serious problems. First, high-attention, high-control actions don’t seem to heighten awareness of one’s beliefs. Second, low-attention, low-control actions are caused by the same states at play when executing high-attention, high-control actions, in which case there is no ontological difference in the states involved in these behaviors. Third, on Zimmerman’s view it is unclear what it is for a state to be involved in behaviors at all, as the basic realist response—that beliefs cause behavior—is unavailable to a Zimmerman-style pragmatist. Lastly, if Zimmerman's view were right and low-level behaviors weren't caused by beliefs, then we should turn our attention to those states instead, as most of our behavior isn’t executed under conditions of high control and attention.
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Archival date: 2020-03-11
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