Implicit Attitudes, Heuristics, and Joint Action

In this paper I discuss a few questions concerning the impact of implicit attitudes and heuristics (heuristic reasoning) on joint action. Some philosophers of actions, amongst others Harry Frankfurt, David Velleman, and Brian O’Shaughnessy, have argued for an interesting category between mere bodily movement and full-blown intentional action. These accounts, however, are not without problems. I will first discuss these proposals and point at some of the problems they face.

I believe that two recent developments in social psychology are relevant to make a new attempt at trying to understand what may lie between the two extremes of mere bodily movement and intentional action. I will use theory and data from the debates on implicit attitudes and heuristic reasoning to do so. Some of the focal points will be (1) the question whether there are clear cut categories, (2) the distinction and interdependency of different controlling factors of our behaviour, and (3) the notion of control that is used.