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Knowledge-how: A unified account

In J. Bengson & M. Moffett (eds.), Knowing How: Essays on Knowledge, Mind, and Action. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 136-160 (2011)

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  1. Know-how as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Löwenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
    What does it mean to know how to do something? This book develops a comprehensive account of know-how, a crucial epistemic goal for all who care about getting things right, not only with respect to the facts, but also with respect to practice. It proposes a novel interpretation of the seminal work of Gilbert Ryle, according to which know-how is a competence, a complex ability to do well in an activity in virtue of guidance by an understanding of what it (...)
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  • Subject-specific intellectualism: re-examining know how and ability.Kevin Wallbridge - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 7):1619-1638.
    Intellectualists claim that knowing how to do something is a matter of knowing, for some w, that w is a way to do that thing. However, standard accounts fail to account for the way that knowing how sometimes seems to require ability. I argue that the way to make sense of this situation is via a ‘subject-specific’ intellectualism according to which knowing how to do something is a matter of knowing that w is a way for some relevant person to (...)
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  • Opacity, Know-How States, and their Content.Josefa Toribio - 2015 - Disputatio 7 (40):61-83.
    The main goal of this paper is to defend the thesis that the content of know-how states is an accuracy assessable type of nonconceptual content. My argument proceeds in two stages. I argue, first, that the intellectualist distinction between types of ways of grasping the same kind of content is uninformative unless it is tied in with a distinction between kinds of contents. Second, I consider and reject the objection that, if the content of know-how states is non-conceptual, it will (...)
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  • Is Skill a Kind of Disposition to Action-Guiding Knowledge?S. M. Hassan A. Shirazi & M. Hosein M. A. Khalaj - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):1907-1930.
    Developing an intellectualist account of skill, Stanley and Williamson define skill as a kind of disposition to action-guiding knowledge. The present paper challenges their definition of skill. While we don’t dispute that skill may consist of a cognitive, a dispositional, and an action-guiding component, we argue that Stanley and Williamson’s account of each component is problematic. In the first section, we argue, against Stanley and Williamson, that the cognitive component of skill is not a case of propositional knowledge-wh, which is (...)
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  • Skill acquisition without representation.Albert Piacente - 2018 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 45 (3):241-258.
    ABSTRACTA paper in two parts, the first is a critique of the commonly held view among both cognitivist and non-cognitivist sport philosophers that conscious mental representation of knowledge that is a necessary condition for skill acquisition. The second is a defense of a necessary causal condition for skill acquisition, a necessary causal condition that is mimetic, physically embodied, and socially embedded. To make my case I rely throughout on a common thought experiment in and beyond the philosophy of sport literature, (...)
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  • Skill in epistemology II: Skill and know how.Carlotta Pavese - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):650-660.
    The prequel to this paper has discussed the relation between knowledge and skill and introduced the topic of the relationship between skill and know how. This sequel continues the discussion. First, I survey the recent debate on intellectualism about knowing how (§1-3). Then, I tackle the question as to whether intellectualism (and anti-intellectualism) about skill and intellectualism (and anti-intellectualism) about know how fall or stand together (§4-5).
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  • Knowing a rule.Carlotta Pavese - 2015 - Philosophical Issues 25 (1):165-188.
    In this essay, I provide a new argument for Intellectualism about knowing how, one that does not rest on controversial assumptions about how knowing how is ascribed in English. In particular, I argue that the distinctive intentionality of the manifestations of knowing how ought to be explained in terms of a propositional attitude of belief about how to perform an action.
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  • Scaffolded practical knowledge: a problem for intellectualism.Nikolaj Nottelmann & Kári Thorsson - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):577-595.
    Roughly speaking, intellectualists contend that practical knowledge is always a matter of having the right kind of propositional knowledge. This article argues that intellectualism faces a serious explanatory challenge when practical knowledge crucially relies on ecological information, i.e. when know-how is scaffolded. More precisely, intellectualists struggle to provide a satisfactory explanation of seeming know-how contrasts in structurally similar cases of scaffolded ability manifestation. In contrast, even if anti-intellectualism is similarly challenged, at least some varieties of anti-intellectualism seemingly hold resources to (...)
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  • One More Twist ~ Knowledge How and Ability.Masaharu Mizumoto - forthcoming - Episteme:1-9.
    According to Bengson et al.’s Salchow case, Irina is a novice skater who has a mistaken belief about what amounts to a Salchow, but also has a neurological abnormality which, unknowingly to her, affects both her movement and her sense of it. As a result of this twist, she always ends up succeeding in jumping the Salchow whenever she tries. This story was presented as a counterexample to a variant of anti-intellectualism, and as Bengson and colleagues expected, the vast majority (...)
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  • Knowing what things look like.Matthew McGrath - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (1):1-41.
    Walking through the supermarket, I see the avocados. I know they are avocados. Similarly, if you see a pumpkin on my office desk, you can know it’s a pumpkin from its looks. The phenomenology in such cases is that of “just seeing” that such and such. This phenomenology might suggest that the knowledge gained is immediate. This paper argues, to the contrary, that in these target cases, the knowledge is mediate, depending as it does on one’s knowledge of what the (...)
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  • Embodied savoir-faire: knowledge-how requires motor representations.Neil Levy - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    I argue that the intellectualist account of knowledge-how, according to which agents have the knowledge-how to \ in virtue of standing in an appropriate relation to a proposition, is only half right. On the composition view defended here, knowledge-how at least typically requires both propositional knowledge and motor representations. Motor representations are not mere dispositions to behavior because they have representational content, and they play a central role in realizing the intelligence in knowledge-how. But since motor representations are not propositional, (...)
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  • Is Skill a Kind of Disposition to Action-Guiding Knowledge?M. Hosein M. A. Khalaj & S. M. Hassan A. Shirazi - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):1907-1930.
    Developing an intellectualist account of skill, Stanley and Williamson define skill as a kind of disposition to action-guiding knowledge. The present paper challenges their definition of skill. While we don’t dispute that skill may consist of a cognitive, a dispositional, and an action-guiding component, we argue that Stanley and Williamson’s account of each component is problematic. In the first section, we argue, against Stanley and Williamson, that the cognitive component of skill is not a case of propositional knowledge-wh, which is (...)
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  • Knowing How.Yuri Cath - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):487-503.
    An overview of the knowing-how debates over the last ten years.
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  • Knowledge-how and the limits of defeat.Timothy R. Kearl - 2023 - Synthese 202 (2):1-22.
    How, if at all, is knowing how to do something defeasible? Some, the “intellectualists”, treat the defeasibility of knowledge-how as in some way derivative on the defeasibility of knowledge-that. According to a recent proposal by Carter and Navarro (Philos Phenomenol Res 3:662–685, 2017), knowledge-how defeat cannot be explained in terms of knowledge-that defeat; instead, knowledge-how defeat merits and entirely separate treatment. The thought behind “separatism” is easy to articulate. Assuming that knowledge of any kind is defeasible, since knowledge-that and knowledge-how (...)
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  • The generality problem for intellectualism.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (3):242-262.
    According to Intellectualism knowing how to V is a matter of knowing a suitable proposition about a way of V-ing. In this paper, I consider the question of which ways of acting might figure in the propositions which Intellectualists claim constitute the object of knowledge-how. I argue that Intellectualists face a version of the Generality Problem – familiar from discussions of Reliabilism – since not all ways of V-ing are such that knowledge about them suffices for knowledge-how. I consider various (...)
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  • Knowledge-How, Abilities, and Questions.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):86-104.
    The debate about the nature of knowledge-how is standardly thought to be divided between intellectualist views, which take knowledge-how to be a kind of propositional knowledge, and anti-intellectualist views, which take knowledge-how to be a kind of ability. In this paper, I explore a compromise position—the interrogative capacity view—which claims that knowing how to do something is a certain kind of ability to generate answers to the question of how to do it. This view combines the intellectualist thesis that knowledge-how (...)
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  • Knowing-how, showing, and epistemic norms.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3597-3620.
    In this paper I consider the prospects for an epistemic norm which relates knowledge-how to showing in a way that parallels the knowledge norm of assertion. In the first part of the paper I show that this epistemic norm can be motivated by conversational evidence, and that it fits in with a plausible picture of the function of knowledge. In the second part of the paper I present a dilemma for this norm. If we understand showing in a broad sense (...)
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  • The puzzle of learning by doing and the gradability of knowledge‐how.Juan S. Piñeros Glasscock - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (3):619-637.
    Much of our know-how is acquired through practice: we learn how to cook by cooking, how to write by writing, and how to dance by dancing. As Aristotle argues, however, this kind of learning is puzzling, since engaging in it seems to require possession of the very knowledge one seeks to obtain. After showing how a version of the puzzle arises from a set of attractive principles, I argue that the best solution is to hold that knowledge-how comes in degrees, (...)
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  • Why Intellectualism Still Fails.Andreas Ditter - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (264):500-515.
    Intellectualism about knowledge-how is the view that knowing how to do something amounts to knowing a fact. The version of intellectualism defended by Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson holds that knowledge-how is a species of knowledge-wh, i.e., knowledge-where, -when, -who, etc. It draws its major motivation from the uniformity between ascriptions of knowledge-how and ascriptions of knowledge-wh in English, being all infinitival embedded question constructions. My aim in this paper is to challenge intellectualism of this sort. I argue that the (...)
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  • Etiological challenges to religious practices.Helen De Cruz - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (4):329–340.
    There is a common assumption that evolutionary explanations of religion undermine religious beliefs. Do etiological accounts similarly affect the rationality of religious practices? To answer this question, this paper looks at two influential evolutionary accounts of ritual, the hazard-precaution model and costly signaling theory. It examines whether Cuneo’s account of ritual knowledge as knowing to engage God can be maintained in the light of these evolutionary accounts. While the evolutionary accounts under consideration are not metaphysically incompatible with the idea that (...)
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  • Revisionary intellectualism and Gettier.Yuri Cath - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):7-27.
    How should intellectualists respond to apparent Gettier-style counterexamples? Stanley offers an orthodox response which rejects the claim that the subjects in such scenarios possess knowledge-how. I argue that intellectualists should embrace a revisionary response according to which knowledge-how is a distinctively practical species of knowledge-that that is compatible with Gettier-style luck.
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  • Knowledge-how, Understanding-why and Epistemic Luck: an Experimental Study.J. Adam Carter, Duncan Pritchard & Joshua Shepherd - 2019 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 10 (4):701-734.
    Reductive intellectualists about knowledge-how hold, contra Ryle, that knowing how to do something is just a kind of propositional knowledge. In a similar vein, traditional reductivists about understanding-why insist, in accordance with a tradition beginning with Aristotle, that the epistemic standing one attains when one understands why something is so is itself just a kind of propositional knowledge—viz., propositional knowledge of causes. A point that has been granted on both sides of these debates is that if these reductive proposals are (...)
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  • Knowledge‐How and Cognitive Achievement.J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):181-199.
    According to reductive intellectualism, knowledge-how just is a kind of propositional knowledge (e.g., Stanley & Williamson 2001; Stanley 2011a, 2011b; Brogaard, 2008a, 2008b, 2009, 2011, 2009, 2011). This proposal has proved controversial because knowledge-how and propositional knowledge do not seem to share the same epistemic properties, particularly with regard to epistemic luck. Here we aim to move the argument forward by offering a positive account of knowledge-how. In particular, we propose a new kind of anti-intellectualism. Unlike neo-Rylean anti-intellectualist views, according (...)
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  • Knowledge‐How and Epistemic Luck.J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard - 2013 - Noûs 49 (3):440-453.
    Reductive intellectualists hold that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. For this thesis to hold water, it is obviously important that knowledge-how and knowledge-that have the same epistemic properties. In particular, knowledge-how ought to be compatible with epistemic luck to the same extent as knowledge-that. It is argued, contra reductive intellectualism, that knowledge-how is compatible with a species of epistemic luck which is not compatible with knowledge-that, and thus it is claimed that knowledge-how and knowledge-that come apart.
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  • (Anti)-Anti-Intellectualism and the Sufficiency Thesis.J. Adam Carter & Bolesław Czarnecki - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):374-397.
    Anti-intellectualists about knowledge-how insist that, when an agent S knows how to φ, it is in virtue of some ability, rather than in virtue of any propositional attitudes, S has. Recently, a popular strategy for attacking the anti-intellectualist position proceeds by appealing to cases where an agent is claimed to possess a reliable ability to φ while nonetheless intuitively lacking knowledge-how to φ. John Bengson & Marc Moffett (2009; 2011a; 2011b) and Carlotta Pavese (2015a; 2015b) have embraced precisely this strategy (...)
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  • Doing without believing: Intellectualism, knowledge-how, and belief-attribution.Michael Brownstein & Eliot Michaelson - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9):2815–2836.
    We consider a range of cases—both hypothetical and actual—in which agents apparently know how to \ but fail to believe that the way in which they in fact \ is a way for them to \. These “no-belief” cases present a prima facie problem for Intellectualism about knowledge-how. The problem is this: if knowledge-that entails belief, and if knowing how to \ just is knowing that some w is a way for one to \, then an agent cannot both know (...)
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  • A partial defense of extended knowledge.Berit Brogaard - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):39-62.
    The paper starts out by distinguishing two closely related hypotheses about extended cognition. According to the strong hypothesis, there are no intrinsic representations in the brain. This is a version of the extended-mind view defended by Andy Clark and Richard Menary. On the weak hypothesis, there are intrinsic representations in the brain but some types of cognition, knowledge or memory are constituted by particular types of external devices or environmental factors that extend beyond the skull and perhaps beyond the skin. (...)
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  • Sporting knowledge and the problem of knowing how.Gunnar Breivik - 2014 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 41 (2):143-162.
    In the Concept of Mind from 1949 Gilbert Ryle distinguished between knowing how and knowing that. What was Ryle’s basic idea and how is the discussion going on in philosophy today? How can sport philosophy use the idea of knowing how? My goal in this paper is first to bring Ryle and the post-Rylean discussion to light and then show how phenomenology can give some input to the discussion. The article focuses especially on the two main interpretations of knowing how, (...)
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  • Knowledge-How and Epistemic Value.J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):799-816.
    A conspicuous oversight in recent debates about the vexed problem of the value of knowledge has been the value of knowledge-how. This would not be surprising if knowledge-how were, as Gilbert Ryle [1945, 1949] famously thought, fundamentally different from knowledge-that. However, reductive intellectualists [e.g. Stanley and Williamson 2001; Brogaard 2008, 2009, 2011; Stanley 2011a, 2011b] maintain that knowledge-how just is a kind of knowledge-that. Accordingly, reductive intellectualists must predict that the value problems facing propositional knowledge will equally apply to knowledge-how. (...)
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  • Linguistic solutions to philosophical problems: The case of knowing how.Barbara Abbott - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):1-21.
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  • Disjunctivism.Berit Brogaard - 2010 - Oxford Annotated Bibliographies Online.
    Naive realism is one of the oldest theories of perception. To a first approximation, naive realism is the view that perception is a direct relation between a subject and an object. Many historical philosophers (from Locke to Russell) argued that naive realism must be rejected on the grounds that hallucinations are perceptual experiences without an object. Contemporary philosophers have resurrected the theory by insisting that genuine cases of perception have a different structure or a different metaphysical status than non-genuine ones. (...)
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  • Knowledge How.Jeremy Fantl - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Knowledge-How (Reference Entry).Bolesław Czarnecki - 2016 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
    The entry is intended as an advanced introduction to the topic of knowledge-how. It starts with a list of overviews, monographs and collections, followed by selected 20th century discussions. The last two sections contain sources pertaining to Ryle's own work on the topic as well as work by other influential thinkers, and themes that are sometimes associated with knowledge-how. The remaining seven sections survey the contemporary literature on knowledge-how from three perspectives: (i) generic desiderata for accounts of knowledge-how, (ii) specific (...)
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  • Is There a Place for Epistemic Virtues in Theory Choice?Milena Ivanova - 2014 - In Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Virtue Epistemology Naturalized. Springer, Cham. pp. 207-226.
    This paper challenges the appeal to theory virtues in theory choice as well as the appeal to the intellectual and moral virtues of an agent as determining unique choices between empirically equivalent theories. After arguing that theoretical virtues do not determine the choice of one theory at the expense of another theory, I argue that nor does the appeal to intellectual and moral virtues single out one agent, who defends a particular theory, and exclude another agent defending an alternative theory. (...)
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  • What Acquaintance Teaches.Alex Grzankowski & Michael Tye - 2019 - In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 75–94.
    In her black and white room, Mary doesn’t know what it is like to see red. Only after undergoing an experience as of something red and hence acquainting herself with red can Mary learn what it is like. But learning what it is like to see red requires more than simply becoming acquainted with it. To be acquainted with something is to know it, but such knowledge, as we argue, is object-knowledge rather than propositional-knowledge. To know what it is like (...)
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  • Knowing how and pragmatic intrusion.Alessandro Capone - 2011 - Intercultural Pragmatics 8 (4):543-570.
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