Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Liberal Arts


This doctoral thesis is about the cognitive basis of skilled performance. More specifically, it questions what sort of understanding, or grasp, skilled performers have of the means and methods by which they perform their impressive endeavors. The thesis concludes that skilled action does not entail conceptual grasp of method on the part of the agent. In advancing its case for this conclusion, it presents a series of arguments in its various chapters in opposition to intellectualism, certain forms of anti-intellectualism, and other influential positions in the philosophy of mind. In addition, beyond this, it recommends that researchers should take seriously the possibility that, in the case of certain sorts of skilled engagement, the performer need not manifest any agential understanding, conceptual or nonconceptual.

FoR codes (2008)




Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.