Exercising abilities

Carter, J. A. (2021) Exercising abilities. Synthese, 198(3), pp. 2495-2509. (doi: 10.1007/s11229-019-02227-4)

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Abstract

According to one prominent view of exercising abilities (e.g., Millar 2010), a subject, S, counts as exercising an ability to ϕ if and only if S successfully ϕs. Such an ‘exercise-success’ thesis looks initially very plausible for abilities, perhaps even obviously or analytically true. In this paper, however, I will be defending the position that one can in fact exercise an ability to do one thing by doing some entirely distinct thing, and in doing so I’ll highlight various reasons (epistemological, metaphysical and linguistic) that favor the alternative approach I develop over views that hold that the exercise of an ability is a success notion in the sense Millar maintains.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carter, Dr J Adam
Authors: Carter, J. A.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Synthese
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0039-7857
ISSN (Online):1573-0964
Published Online:29 April 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Author
First Published:First published in Synthese 198(3): 2495-2509
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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