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25 June 2008, PhD defense, Erik Rietveld

Candidate: Erik Rietveld
Title: Unreflective Action: A Philosophical Contribution to Integrative Neuroscience
Date: Wednesday 25 June 2008
Time: 12:00
Location: Oude Lutherse Kerk, Singel 411, Amsterdam
Promotor: prof. dr. M.J.B. Stokhof and prof. dr. K.R. Ridderinkhof

In many situations in our daily lives we act adequately, yet unreflectively. With certainty and fluency we turn the pages of a book, maintain an appropriate distance from the other people in an elevator, and without deliberation we stop the pedestrian next to us, who, while about to cross the street, does not notice an oncoming car. Often we just act, and normally this immediate action is appropriate. The aim of this dissertation is to contribute to a better understanding of such adequate unreflective action.

Using works by Aristotle, Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty, Dreyfus, and McDowell, this complex phenomenon is approached primarily from a philosophical perspective, but one that is open to insights from affective science and neuroscience. Such an integrative approach is important because it is only through integration of the findings of various disciplines that we can achieve a thorough understanding of adequate unreflective action.

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