Knowledge-How and Ability

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Abstract:

A knowledge-how attributing sentence of the form 'S knows how to F' may yield an 'ability-entailing' reading as well as an 'ability-neutral' reading. The present paper offers an epistemological account of the availability of both readings, based on two conceptual distinctions: first, a distinction between a 'practical' and a 'theoretical' kind of knowledge of how to do something; second, a distinction between an 'intrinsic' and an 'extrinsic' kind of ability to do something. The first part of the paper presents the double distinction that constitutes the proposed account; the second part presents a number of theoretical, mainly epistemological motivations for accepting the account.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2008

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