A Practical Guide to Intellectualism

Dissertation, Australian National University (2008)
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In this thesis I examine the view—known as intellectualism—that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that, or propositional knowledge. I examine issues concerning both the status of this view of knowledge-how and the philosophical implications if it is true. The ability hypothesis is an important position in the philosophy of mind that appeals to Gilbert Ryle’s famous idea that there is a fundamental distinction between knowledge-how and knowledge-that. This position appears to be inconsistent with the truth of intellectualism. However, I demonstrate in this thesis that the ability hypothesis can be restated using the intellectualist view of knowledge-how. With regards to the status of intellectualism, I argue that the two main traditional arguments against intellectualism do not succeed. I also provide new and, I claim, successful arguments against intellectualism. These arguments point to a new view of knowledge-how that is distinct from both the standard intellectualist and Rylean views of knowledge-how.

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Yuri Cath
La Trobe University


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