Together with Ezequiel Di Paolo we embarked into a historical research on the notion of Habits as theoretical building blocks for cognitive science. Far from the simplified stimulus-response pairing conception of habits defended by behaviorism, we found that habits have long been a very rich conceptual category at the root of the sciences and philosophies of mind, until very recently. Here is a preliminary graph that summarizes some of our results (that would hopefully be published as a paper some time soon):
What is surprising is not the long history of the term (Aristotle’s ethics are well known to be based on habits or the British associationist school is well known for taking habits as one of their favorite notions). What is surprising is the intricate historical phylogeny of the concepts, its many ramifications and creeper like twists in history.
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