From Volleying to Distributed Embodied Rationality

In: Rationality and Decision Making

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In this paper I argue that unreflective skillful action is rational. I defend, following Davidson, a normative conception of rationality and claim that the only condition for action to count as rational is that the agent finds intelligible questions regarding her reasons for acting. Rationality should not be identified with detached, situation-independent reflection. The paper illustrates the idea by means of an example from sport: I argue that even someone as accomplished as the tennis player Roger Federer needs a coach with reflective knowledge in order to improve his game. I claim that this is a case of distributed embodied rationality. Expertise is not a state, but a process that is sustained by means of reflection, experimentation and sensitivity to criticism.