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Picture of Mindlessness


Author(s): Ezio Di Nucci

Book Description

Thinking is overrated: golfers perform best when distracted and under pressure; firefighters make the right calls without a clue as to why; and you are yourself ill advised to look at your steps as you go down the stairs, or to try and remember your pin number before typing it in. Just do it, mindlessly. Both empirical psychologists and the common man have long worked out that thinking is often a bad idea, but philosophers still hang on to an intellectualist picture of human action. This book challenges that picture and calls on philosophers to wake up to the power of mindlessness: it is our habits, skills and conventions that help us cope with a world way too diverse for us to hope to always reinterpret it. The book presents the empirical evidence that has been accumulating over the last few decades and offers a philosophical analysis of mindless phenomena such as habits, skilled activity, automatic actions, emotional and spontaneous reactions and social conventions, arguing that traditional philosophical theories of action should be revised to do justice to this forgotten but important part of our lives: when we act mindlessly, we are free and fully rational even though we neither deliberate nor are aware of what we are doing.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4658-5
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4658-9
Date of Publication: 01/05/2013
Pages / Size: 205 / A5
Price: £44.99


Ezio Di Nucci is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Universität Duisburg-Essen, having previously taught at the University of Edinburgh (where he received his PhD in 2008), the University of Stirling and University College Dublin. On top of many journal articles, he has published two other books: Content, Consciousness, and Perception (2006, with Conor McHugh) and Mind Out of Action (2008).


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-5614-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-5614-2
Date of Publication: 01/04/2014
Pages / Size: 216 / A5
Price: £29.99