Practice Theory versus Problem-Solving

In 2009, Neil Gross argued that the critique of action as a calculation of means to ends, which had been ongoing for at least the prior thirty years, had been successful. Not only that, the insistence that “action-theoretical assumptions necessarily factor into every account of social order and change and …

On the Nature of Habit

Recently, however, some philosophers have begun to pay attention to habits. An example is a series of papers by Bill Pollard starting in the mid-aughts (Pollard, 2006a, 2006b), and more recently Steve Matthews (2017). Pollard tackles some fundamental issues arguing (positively) for habit-based explanations of action as a useful addendum (if …

Folk Psychology and Legal Responsibility

If folk psychology is false, is legal responsibility dead? If legal responsibility is dead, is everything permitted? Maybe not, but such questions have received growing attention in the legal field, as the field confronts the prospect of an emergent “neuro-law.” Neuroscience challenges the unacknowledged background of commitments to theories of …

Making Ontology Practical

Questions of ontology have gathered an audience in sociology over the past decade, particularly as galvanized (pro or con) by the critical realist movement (Gorski 2013). Such an influence is to be welcomed: ontology constitutes an improvement in the way that traditional issues are discussed and debated in the field. …

Are the Folk Natural Ryleans?

Folk psychology and the belief-desire accounting system has been formative in cognitive science because of the claim, mainly put forth by philosophers, that it forms the fundamental framework via which everybody (philosopher and non-philosopher alike) understands human action as meaningful. Both proponents of some version of the argument for the …

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