What's the point of knowing how?

European Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):693-708 (2019)
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Why is it useful to talk and think about knowledge-how? Using Edward Craig’s discussion of the function of the concepts of knowledge and knowledge-how as a jumping off point, this paper argues that considering this question can offer us new angles on the debate about knowledge-how. We consider two candidate functions for the concept of knowledge-how: pooling capacities, and mutual reliance. Craig makes the case for pooling capacities, which connects knowledge-how to our need to pool practical capacities. I argue that the evidence is much more equivocal. My suggested diagnosis is that the concept of knowledge-how plays both functions, meaning that the concept of knowledge-how is inconsistent, and that the debate about knowledge-how is at least partly a metalinguistic negotiation. In closing, I suggest a way to revise the philosophical concept of knowledge how.
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Archival date: 2018-12-19
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