Expertise, Mind Wandering, and Amnesia
In this chapter, I look at what discussions on the nature of expertise might have to contribute to our understanding of musical absorption. I analyze the work of Hubert Dreyfus, John Sutton et al., and Barbara Montero to find useful thinking on the relation between thinking and coping or intelligence and reflexes. While Dreyfus construes an unfortunate dualism that prevents a nuanced grasp of absorption and conceives of reflection and coping as mutually exclusive, Sutton and Montero provide a stronger empirical basis for their claims, showing that thinking and acting are meshed and mutually inclusive. In the end of the chapter, I look at the notion of “expertise-induced amnesia”, establish that it suffers from the same unfortunate dualism as that of Dreyfus, and conclude that it has little explanatory power vis-à-vis neither expertise, nor intense absorption.