The phenomenology of everyday expertise and the emancipatory interest

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Title: The phenomenology of everyday expertise and the emancipatory interest
Authors: O'Connor, Brian
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Date: 1-Nov-2013
Abstract: This is a critical theoretical investigation of Hubert Dreyfus' 'phenomenology of everyday expertise' (PEE). Operating mainly through the critical perspective of the 'emancipatory interest' the article takes issue with the contention that when engaged in expert action human beings are in non-deliberative, reason-free absorption. The claim of PEE that absorbed actions are not amenable to reconstruction places those actions outside the space of reasons. The question of acting under the wrong reasons -- the question upon which the emancipatory interest rests -- is thereby rendered groundless. A further difficulty for the emancipatory interest is the elimination by PEE of reflective agency. Framing expert action as perception- and affordance-driven, PEE diminishes practical reasoning. Furthermore, it understands freedom -- consistently with its notion of action as affordance -- as primarily the capacity of human beings to submit themselves to processes rather than to step back reflectively from them. Several criticisms of the philosophical delimitations created by methodology of PEE -- phenomenology -- are also developed.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Sage
Copyright (published version): 2013 Sage
Keywords: Critical theoryEmancipationPhenomenologyPhronesisPractical reason
DOI: 10.1177/0191453713498388
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Philosophy Research Collection

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