Monday, June 10, 2013

The Stone has Barbara Gail Montero on acting disconsciously.
Dreyfus has long argued that “the enemy of expertise is thought” and that the apogee of human performance is exemplified in seamless, unreflective actions in which the self disappears. In a debate with the University of Pittsburgh philosopher John McDowell, published in the journal Inquiry, Dreyfus tells us that whenever Homer describes his heroes at a feast, instead of having them deliberately reach for bread in baskets or bowls brimful to drink, “their arms shot out to the food lying ready before them.” Similarly, says Dreyfus, the grandmaster chess player might find “his arm going out and making a move before he can take in the board position.” As with the master archer in Eugen Herrigel’s perennially popular “Zen in the Art of Archery,” neither Odysseus feasting at a banquet nor the grandmaster playing chess moves his arm; rather “it shoots.”
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