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Know-How and Gradability

Philosophical Review 126 (3):345-383 (2017)

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  1. Joint Know-How.Jonathan Birch - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3329-3352.
    When two agents engage in a joint action, such as rowing together, they exercise joint know-how. But what is the relationship between the joint know-how of the two agents and the know-how each agent possesses individually? I construct an “active mutual enablement” account of this relationship, according to which joint know-how arises when each agent knows how to predict, monitor, and make failure-averting adjustments in response to the behaviour of the other agent, while actively enabling the other to make such (...)
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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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  • 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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  • The Defeasibility of Knowledge-How.J. Adam Carter & Jesús Navarro - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3):662-685.
    Reductive intellectualists (e.g., Stanley & Williamson 2001; Stanley 2011a; 2011b; Brogaard 2008; 2009; 2011) hold that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. If this thesis is correct, then we should expect the defeasibility conditions for knowledge-how and knowledge-that to be uniform—viz., that the mechanisms of epistemic defeat which undermine propositional knowledge will be equally capable of imperilling knowledge-how. The goal of this paper is twofold: first, against intellectualism, we will show that knowledge-how is in fact resilient to being undermined by (...)
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  • Intellectualizing Know How.Benjamin Elzinga - 2019 - Synthese:1-20.
    Following Gilbert Ryle’s arguments, many philosophers took it for granted that someone knows how to do something just in case they have the ability to do it. Within the last couple decades, new intellectualists have challenged this longstanding anti-intellectualist assumption. Their central contention is that mere abilities aren’t on the same rational, epistemic level as know how. My goal is to intellectualize know how without over-intellectualizing it. Intelligent behavior is characteristically flexible or responsive to novelty, and the distinctive feature of (...)
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  • Not Being There: An Analysis of Expertise‐Induced Amnesia.Simon Høffding & Barbara Gail Montero - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • Joint Know-How.Jonathan Birch - 2018 - Philosophical Studies:1-24.
    When two agents engage in a joint action, such as rowing together, they exercise joint know-how. But what is the relationship between the joint know-how of the two agents and the know-how each agent possesses individually? I construct an “active mutual enablement” account of this relationship, according to which joint know-how arises when each agent knows how to predict, monitor, and make failure-averting adjustments in response to the behaviour of the other agent, while actively enabling the other to make such (...)
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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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  • Knowledge-How, Understanding-Why, and Epistemic Luck: An Experimental Study.J. Adam Carter, Duncan Pritchard & Joshua Shepherd - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-34.
    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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  • Longer, Smaller, Faster, Stronger: On Skills and Intelligence.Ellen Fridland - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (5):759-783.
    ABSTRACTHow does practice change our behaviors such that they go from being awkward, unskilled actions to elegant, skilled performances? This is the question that I wish to explore in this paper. In the first section of the paper, I will defend the tight connection between practice and skill and then go on to make precise how we ought to construe the concept of practice. In the second section, I will suggest that practice contributes to skill by structuring and automatizing the (...)
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  • The Psychological Reality of Practical Representation.Carlotta Pavese - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (5):784-821.
    ABSTRACTWe represent the world in a variety of ways: through percepts, concepts, propositional attitudes, words, numerals, recordings, musical scores, photographs, diagrams, mimetic paintings, etc. Some of these representations are mental. It is customary for philosophers to distinguish two main kinds of mental representations: perceptual representation and conceptual representation. This essay presupposes a version of this dichotomy and explores the way in which a further kind of representation – procedural representation – represents. It is argued that, in some important respects, procedural (...)
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  • Skill in Epistemology II: Skill and Know How.Carlotta Pavese - 2015 - 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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  • Knowledge-How: Interrogatives and Free Relatives.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2018 - Episteme 15 (2):183-201.
    It has been widely accepted since Stanley and Williamson (2001) that the only linguistically acceptable semantic treatments for sentences of the form ‘S knows how to V’ involve treating the wh-complement ‘how to V’ as an interrogative phrase, denoting a set of propositions. Recently a number of authors have suggested that the ‘how to V’ phrase denotes not a proposition, but an object. This view points toward a prima facie plausible non-propositional semantics for knowledge-how, which treats ‘how to V’ as (...)
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  • A Theory of Practical Meaning.Carlotta Pavese - 2017 - Philosophical Topics 45 (2):65-96.
    This essay is divided into two parts. In the first part (§2), I introduce the idea of practical meaning by looking at a certain kind of procedural systems — the motor system — that play a central role in computational explanations of motor behavior. I argue that in order to give a satisfactory account of the content of the representations computed by motor systems (motor commands), we need to appeal to a distinctively practical kind of meaning. Defending the explanatory relevance (...)
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  • Knowing What It is Like and Testimony.Yuri Cath - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):105-120.
    It is often said that ‘what it is like’-knowledge cannot be acquired by consulting testimony or reading books [Lewis 1998; Paul 2014; 2015a]. However, people also routinely consult books like What It Is Like to Go to War [Marlantes 2014], and countless ‘what it is like’ articles and youtube videos, in the apparent hope of gaining knowledge about what it is like to have experiences they have not had themselves. This article examines this puzzle and tries to solve it by (...)
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  • Know-How, Action, and Luck.Carlotta Pavese - forthcoming - Synthese.
    A good surgeon knows how to perform a surgery; a good architect knows how to design a house. We value their know-how. We ordinarily look for it. What makes it so valuable? A natural response is that know-how is valuable because it explains success. A surgeon’s know-how explains their success at performing a surgery. And an architect’s know-how explains their success at designing houses that stand up. We value know-how because of its special explanatory link to success. But in virtue (...)
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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 is the Norm of Intention.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1703-1727.
    It is a widely shared intuition that there is a close connection between knowledge-how and intentional action. In this paper, I explore one aspect of this connection: the normative connection between intending to do something and knowing how to do it. I argue for a norm connecting knowledge-how and intending in a way that parallels the knowledge norms of assertion, belief, and practical reasoning, which I call the knowledge-how norm of Intention. I argue that this norm can appeal to support (...)
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  • The Varieties of Agential Powers.Christos Douskos - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    The domain of agential powers is marked by a contrast that does not arise in the case of dispositions of inanimate objects: the contrast between propensities or tendencies on the one hand, and capacities or abilities on the other. According to Ryle (1949), this contrast plays an important role in the ‘logical geography’ of the dispositional concepts used in the explanation and assessment of action. However, most subsequent philosophers use the terms of art ‘power’ or ‘disposition’ indiscriminately in formulating central (...)
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  • Methods, Minds, Memory, and Kinds.Alison Springle - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (5):635-661.
    ABSTRACTThe acquisition of a skill, or knowledge-how, on the one hand, and the acquisition of a piece of propositional knowledge on the other, appear to be different sorts of epistemic achievements. Does this difference lie in the nature of the knowledge involved, marking a joint between knowledge-how and propositional knowledge? Intellectualists say no: All knowledge is propositional knowledge. Anti-intellectualists say yes: Knowledge-how and propositional knowledge are different in kind. What resources or methods may we legitimately and fruitfully employ to adjudicate (...)
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