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Thought in ActionExpertise and the Conscious Mind$
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Barbara Gail Montero

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596775.001.0001

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The Pleasure of Movement and the Awareness of the Self

The Pleasure of Movement and the Awareness of the Self

(p.178) 9 The Pleasure of Movement and the Awareness of the Self
Thought in Action

Barbara Gail Montero

Oxford University Press

In expert bodily actions, especially those that appear effortless, it is sometimes claimed that the self is lost; for example, when running a marathon, it might be said the self dissolves into movement, that there is no self-awareness, no sense that you are exerting yourself. This chapter investigates this idea. Through discussion and critical analysis of various theories about the role of the self in expert action in works by David Velleman, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (particularly his concepts of “autotelic” action and “flow”), Karl Reinhold, and others, this chapter both revisits Montero’s work with the clinical neurophysiologist Jonathan Cole on affective proprioception, and suggests that although certain types of thoughts, such as distress and worry, may at times be blissfully absent during expert action, thoughts about and proprioceptive awareness of relevant bodily movements are are nonetheless often present.

Keywords:   self, self-awareness, Csikszentmihalyi, David Velleman, Karl Reinhold, Jonathan Cole, flow, autotelic action, affective proprioception

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