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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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Intuition, Rationality, and Chess Expertise

Intuition, Rationality, and Chess Expertise

(p.210) 11 Intuition, Rationality, and Chess Expertise
Thought in Action

Barbara Gail Montero

Oxford University Press

What is the role of deliberation, rationality, and conceptualization in expert chess performance? Chess might seem to be an obvious counterexample to the idea that expert action proceeds without thought. However, Hubert Dreyfus has argued that because grandmaster chess players can play lightning chess (one minute per player) games so well without thinking, that the truly great moves of a chess player are neither rational nor conceptual but are, rather, directed by “forces on the board.” In contrast to Dreyfus’s view, this chapter presents an argument for the conceptual nature of chess perception as well as for the view that high-level chess players deliberate even during lightning chess. It also presents experimental results that conflict with the view, shared by both Dreyfus and John McDowell, that if chess players were to express their thoughts during a fast game, this would hinder their performance.

Keywords:   chess, deliberation, rationality, conceptualization, Dreyfus, McDowell, lightning chess, thought, perception, chess perception

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