I am fascinated by the flexible and social character of human agency confrontation with changing situations. You go out the door assuming you can grab your breakfast at the usual place. Turns out it’s closed for renovation. In response to this experience you have to make up your mind quickly. Do you have time to get something else? Do you know any place nearby? Could you stand an empty stomach until lunch? All this might go through your head while you keep running through the street.

The human capacity to respond flexible to changing situations becomes even more impressive in combination with our social nature. Thinking about where to have your breakfast you have to take into account what others expect of you (would anyone mind if you came five minutes late?) and you have to consider where others might have opened their breakfast places. How do we put all this together? How do we pick out everything significant, adapt our beliefs and wants, and stay on time? How do we communicate and share reasons in such fluid environments? The Way of Inquiry reports from my engagement with these questions and related issues. It draws on philosophy, computer science, and cognitive science.

This blog is maintained by David Strohmaier. I have received a PhD in philosophy from the University of Sheffield and I am currently working towards an MPhil in advanced computer science at the University of Cambridge. You can contact me at davidstrohmaier92@gmail.com.

The title of this blog is a reference to a quote by the pragmatist philosopher C. S. Peirce:

Do not block the way of inquiry.

The Pragmatists put an emphasis on responding to problems with situational awareness. My PhD research in philosophy drew on their theories to understand motivational change in human agents.


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