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Thinking by doing: Rylean regress and the metaphysics of action

  • Markos Valaris


Discussions of Ryle’s regress argument against the “intellectualist legend” have largely focused on whether it is effective against a certain view about knowledge how, namely, the view that knowledge how is a species of propositional knowledge. This is understandable, as this is how Ryle himself framed the issue. Nevertheless, this focus has tended to obscure some different concerns which are no less pressing—either for Ryle or for us today. More specifically, I argue that a version of Ryle’s regress confronts any view according to which the intelligence manifested in action must be inherited from purely inner mental causes. I recommend an alternative account of the metaphysics of intelligent action, which avoids this commitment.


Knowledge how Know-how Intellectualism Skill Embodied cognition 


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities and LanguagesUNSWSydneyAustralia

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