This week we consider the role of motor representation in explaining instrumental action, explore a first Interface Problem concerning how intention and motor representation are related, and link all of this back to The Problem of Action.
This week’s lecture introduces some ideas that could be used for a second, entirely independent way of answering Assignment 2. (Ideas for a first way of answering that assignment were presented in Lecture 02.)
This is the last lecture (for now) on the topic of how discoveries in the behavioural sciences might matter for asking and answering philosophical questions about individual action.
This lecture depends on you having studied a section from a previous lecture:
For the minimum course of study, consider only this section:
If you need more time for studying Lecture 02, you can safely skip this whole lecture for now. It is not essential for answering Assignment 2. And although ideas introduced here will be used in some later lectures (especially motor representation), it would be possible to complete all the assignments without considering them.
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Your question will normally be answered in the question session of the next lecture.
You may variations on this definition of instrumental in the literature. Dickinson (2016, p. 177) characterises instrumental actions differently: in place of the teleological ‘in order to bring about an outcome’, he stipulates that an instrumental action is one that is ‘controlled by the contingency between’ the action and an outcome. And de Wit & Dickinson (2009, p. 464) stipulate that ‘instrumental actions are learned’.