Learning to Act (pages 11-35)

Jan Bransen

ABSTRACT: In this paper I argue that to understand minded agency – the capacity we typically find instantiated in instances of human behaviour that could sensibly be questioned by asking “What did you do?” – one needs to understand childhood, i.e. the trajectory of learning to act. I discuss two different types of trajectory, both of which seem to take place during childhood and both of which might be considered crucial to learning to act: a growth of bodily control (GBC) and a growth in taking responsibility (GTR). The discussion of GTR takes up about half of the entire paper. In the final two sections I argue that GTR is the most promising trajectory in terms of which to understand a child’s process of learning to act.

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