HAVING KNOW-HOW: INTELLECT, ACTION, AND RECENT WORK ON RYLE'S DISTINCTION BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE-HOW AND KNOWLEDGE-THAT

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Abstract:

Abstract

Stanley and Williamson reject Ryle's knowing-how/knowing-that distinction charging that it obstructs our understanding of human action. Incorrectly interpreting the distinction to imply that knowledge-how is non-propositional, they object that Ryle's argument for it is unsound and linguistic theory contradicts it. I show that they (and their interlocutors) misconstrue the distinction and Ryle's argument. Consequently, their objections fail. On my reading, Ryle's distinction pertains to, not knowledge, but an explanatory gap between explicit and implicit content, and his argument for it is sound. I defend the distinction's necessity in explaining human action and show that it propels a fruitful explanatory program.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0114.2010.01376.x

Affiliations: Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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