Universität Wien FIND

180070 SE Habits (2021S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 30 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Friday 19.03. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 26.03. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 16.04. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 23.04. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 30.04. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 07.05. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 14.05. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 21.05. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 28.05. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 04.06. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 11.06. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 18.06. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital
Friday 25.06. 11:30 - 13:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Habitual actions have a history of practice and repetition that frees us from attending to what we are doing, from deliberating about what to do, and even from forming an intention before acting. Nevertheless, many habitual actions like getting dressed in the morning, or biking back home from work, are cases of intentional action. What accounts for the intentionality of habitual actions if they can be automatically initiated, performed, and controlled?

In this master seminar we will start with Aristotle’s notion of habits/hexis and a brief overview of the roots of the debate. This will function as the background for our readings on (1) habit in American pragmatism, (2) habit and skill as dispositions and abilities, and (3) a cognitive science perspective on habits and automaticity.

Throughout the seminar, we will practice research skills such as
- formulating research questions,
- writing research paper outlines,
- writing feedback for peers,
- responding to feedback,
- combining different types of research to illuminate philosophical ideas.

Assessment and permitted materials

1. Active participation/preparation: reading the text and participation in forum discussion (20%)
2. A project outline of the essay you want to write at (20%).
3. Peer Feedback on two short essays written by your peers (20%)
4. 2500-3000-word essay (40%)
A positive evaluation requires students to achieve a pass grade (4) in all assessment pieces. All tasks will have to be written and presented in English. You can find more information about the course requirements below.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

A positive evaluation requires students to achieve a pass grade (4) in all four assessment pieces, and to actively attend the seminar. Two unauthorized absences will be excused.

I will only look at and mark assessments after the deadline, irrespective of how early you submit, and will then mark them within four weeks. If you need your mark earlier, e.g. if you are on an exchange semester, please explicitly request this by email.

By registering for this course/seminar, you tacitly agree to having all your electronic submissions checked by the plagiarism detection software Turnitin.

Examination topics

Students can write their essays on any topics linked to the seminar themes. Students are encouraged to develop their own research topics, and to consult with the lecturer on their writing plans.

Reading list

The texts will be made available on Moodle. The reading includes texts from:
- Aristotle
- John Dewey
- Nick Crosley
- Gilbert Ryle
- Victoria McGeer
- Wendy Wood
- Ellen Fridland

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:26