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Summary People know many facts, for instance, that Antarctica is a continent, that the cello is a string instrument, or that swimming is a sport. This is often called ‘knowledge that’, since it is knowledge that such and such is true. There is also 'knowledge how': for example, Ann Bancroft knows how to traverse Antarctica, Yo-Yo Ma knows how to play the cello, and I know how to swim. What is knowledge how? How is it related to knowledge that, or to other epistemic achievements (e.g., understanding, intelligence, rationality)? What is the role of knowledge how in action and practical achievement? These and other questions about knowledge how have received diverse answers. The answers are relevant to a wide range of debates in philosophy and other fields (e.g., cognitive science).
Key works

Gilbert Ryle's original paper on knowledge how is Ryle 1945; Ryle elaborates in chapter two of Ryle 1949. Both works argue against the 'intellectualist' view that understands knowledge how in terms of knowledge that. Fodor 1968 contains a now-classic response to Ryle's argument. Stanley & Williamson 2001 present what is widely regarded as an important linguistic argument for intellectualism. A recent collection of essays is Bengson & Moffett 2011.

Introductions Fantl 2013 and Bengson 2013 provide overviews of some of the main philosophical issues. Fantl 2008 surveys recent developments. Bengson and Moffett 2011 trace philosophical work over knowledge how from Ryle's original treatment to contemporary discussion, outlining central themes and noting a wide range of debates in philosophy and cognitive science in which knowledge how has been claimed to play a central role.
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  1. Marcus P. Adams (2009). Empirical Evidence and the Knowledge-That/Knowledge-How Distinction. Synthese 170 (1):97 - 114.
    In this article I have two primary goals. First, I present two recent views on the distinction between knowledge-that and knowledge-how (Stanley and Williamson, The Journal of Philosophy 98(8):411–444, 2001; Hetherington, Epistemology futures, 2006). I contend that neither of these provides conclusive arguments against the distinction. Second, I discuss studies from neuroscience and experimental psychology that relate to this distinction. Having examined these studies, I then defend a third view that explains certain relevant data from these studies by positing the (...)
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  2. R. T. Allen (1991). Practical Knowledge. Tradition and Discovery 17 (1-2):46-47.
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  3. Torin Alter (2001). Know-How, Ability, and the Ability Hypothesis. Theoria 67 (3):229-39.
    David Lewis (1983, 1988) and Laurence Nemirow (1980, 1990) claim that knowing what an experience is like is knowing-how, not knowing-that. They identify this know-how with the abilities to remember, imagine, and recognize experiences, and Lewis labels their view ‘the Ability Hypothesis’. The Ability Hypothesis has intrinsic interest. But Lewis and Nemirow devised it specifically to block certain anti-physicalist arguments due to Thomas Nagel (1974, 1986) and Frank Jackson (1982, 1986). Does it?
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  4. Julia Annas (2001). Moral Knowledge as Practical Knowledge. Social Philosophy and Policy 18 (02):236-.
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  5. Constantin Antonopoulos (1997). Time as Non-Observational Knowledge: How to Straighten Out Δeδt≥H. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (2):165 – 183.
    The Energy-Time Uncertainty (ETU) has always been a problem-ridden relation, its problems stemming uniquely from the perplexing question of how to understand this mysterious Δ t . On the face of it (and, indeed, far deeper than that), we always know what time it is. Few theorists were ignorant of the fact that time in quantum mechanics is exogenously defined, in no ways intrinsically related to the system. Time in quantum theory is an independent parameter, which simply means independently known (...)
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  6. Kent Bach (2012). Review, Jason Stanley, Know How. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    Stanley’s insightful new book refines his earlier formulation of intellectualism. Indeed, it does a whole lot more, but leaves open some tough questions. He makes a powerful case for the view that knowing how to do something is to know, of a certain way, that one could do that thing in that way. But he says surprisingly little about what ways are, and how they might differ, depending on the kind of case. And he doesn't exclude the possibility that in (...)
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  7. Carla Bagnoli (2012). Morality as Practical Knowledge. Analytic Philosophy 53 (1):61-70.
    In his original essay, The Form of Practical Knowledge, Stephen Engstrom argues for placing Kant’s ethics in the tradition of practical cognitivism. My remarks are intended to highlight the merits of his interpretation in contrast to intuitionism and constructivism, understood as ways of appropriating Kant’s legacy. In particular, I will focus on two issues: first, the special character of practical knowledge—as opposed to theoretical knowledge and craft expertise; and second, the apparent tension between the demands of morality and the requirements (...)
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  8. Carla Bagnoli (2011). On Stephen Engstrom, The Form of Practical Knowledge. [REVIEW] Iris 3 (6):191-203.
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  9. Carla Bagnoli (2011). The Claims of Reason: Engstrom’s Account of Practical Knowledge. Iris 3:197-203.
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  10. William P. Bechtel & A. Abrahamson (1990). Beyond the Exclusively Propositional Era. Synthese 82 (2):223-53.
    Contemporary epistemology has assumed that knowledge is represented in sentences or propositions. However, a variety of extensions and alternatives to this view have been proposed in other areas of investigation. We review some of these proposals, focusing on (1) Ryle's notion of knowing how and Hanson's and Kuhn's accounts of theory-laden perception in science; (2) extensions of simple propositional representations in cognitive models and artificial intelligence; (3) the debate concerning imagistic versus propositional representations in cognitive psychology; (4) recent treatments of (...)
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  11. John Bengson (2013). Knowledge How Vs. Knowledge That. In B. Kaldis (ed.), Encyclopedia for Philosophy and the Social Sciences. Sage.
    An overview of philosophical work on the distinction between knowledge how and knowledge that, focusing on what it means to say that they are 'distinct', and on what is at stake in the debate between intellectualists and anti-intellectualists about knowledge how.
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  12. John Bengson & Marc A. Moffett (eds.) (2011). Knowing How: Essays on Knowledge, Mind, and Action. Oxford University Press, USA.
    This is the book on knowing how-an invaluable resource for philosophers, linguists, psychologists, and others concerned with knowledge, mind, and action.
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  13. John Bengson & Marc A. Moffett (2011). Nonpropositional Intellectualism. In John Bengson & Marc A. Moffett (eds.), Knowing How: Essays on Knowledge, Mind, and Action. Oxford University Press. 161.
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  14. John Bengson & Marc A. Moffett (2011). Two Conceptions of Mind and Action: Knowledge How and the Philosophical Theory of Intelligence. In John Bengson & Marc Moffett (eds.), Knowing How: Essays on Knowledge, Mind, and Action. Oxford University Press. 3.
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  15. John Bengson & Marc A. Moffett (2007). Know-How and Concept Possession. Philosophical Studies 136 (1):31 - 57.
    We begin with a puzzle: why do some know-how attributions entail ability attributions while others do not? After rejecting the tempting response that know-how attributions are ambiguous, we argue that a satisfactory answer to the puzzle must acknowledge the connection between know-how and concept possession (specifically, reasonable conceptual mastery, or understanding). This connection appears at first to be grounded solely in the cognitive nature of certain activities. However, we show that, contra anti-intellectualists, the connection between know-how and concept possession can (...)
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  16. John Bengson, Marc A. Moffett & Jennifer C. Wright (2009). The Folk on Knowing How. Philosophical Studies 142 (3):387–401.
    It has been claimed that the attempt to analyze know-how in terms of propositional knowledge over-intellectualizes the mind. Exploiting the methods of so-called “experimental philosophy”, we show that the charge of over-intellectualization is baseless. Contra neo-Ryleans, who analyze know-how in terms of ability, the concrete-case judgments of ordinary folk are most consistent with the view that there exists a set of correct necessary and sufficient conditions for know-how that does not invoke ability, but rather a certain sort of propositional knowledge. (...)
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  17. Jens E. Birch (2009). A Phenomenal Case for Sport. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 3 (1):30-48.
    The article attempts to show some limitations to reductive accounts in science and philosophy of body-mind relations, experience and skill. Extensive literature has developed in analytic philosophy of mind recently due to new technology and theories in the neurosciences. In the sporting sciences, there are also attempts to reduce experiences and skills to biology, mechanics, chemistry and physiology. The article argues there are three fundamental problems for reductive accounts that lead to an explanatory gap between the reduction and the conscious (...)
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  18. Steven Boër & William Lycan (1986). Knowing Who. MIT Press.
  19. Robert B. Brandom (1994). Reasoning and Representing. In M. Michael & John O'Leary-Hawthorne (eds.), Philosophy in Mind: The Place of Philosophy in the Study of Mind. Kluwer. 129-160.
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  20. Nathan Brett (1974). Knowing How, What and That. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):293 - 300.
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  21. Ingar Brinck (1999). Nonconceptual Content and the Distinction Between Implicit and Explicit Knowledge. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):760-761.
    The notion of nonconceptual content in Dienes & Perner's theory is examined. A subject may be in a state with nonconceptual content without having the concepts that would be used to describe the state. Nonconceptual content does not seem to be a clear-cut case of either implicit or explicit knowledge. It underlies a kind of practical knowledge, which is not reducible to procedural knowledge, but is accessible to the subject and under voluntary control.
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  22. Berit Brogaard (forthcoming). Knowledge-How: A Unified Account. In J. Bengson & M. Moffett (eds.), Knowing How: Essays on Knowledge, Mind, and Action. Oxford University Press.
    There are two competing views of knowledge-how: Intellectualism and anti-intellectualism. According to the reductionist varieties of intellectualism defended by Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson (2001) and Berit Brogaard (2007, 2008, 2009), knowledge-how simply reduces to knowledge-that. To a first approximation, s knows how to A iff there is a w such that s knows that w is a way to A. For example, John knows how to ride a bicycle if and only if there is a way w such that (...)
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  23. D. G. Brown (1974). Reply to Brett. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):301 - 303.
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  24. D. G. Brown (1970). Knowing How and Knowing That, What. In Oscar P. Wood & George Pitcher (eds.), Ryle. Doubleday Anchor.
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  25. Jessica Brown (2013). Knowing-How: Linguistics and Cognitive Science. Analysis 73 (2):220-227.
    Stanley and Williamson have defended the intellectualist thesis that knowing-how is a subspecies of knowing-that by appeal to the syntax and semantics of ascriptions of knowing-how. Critics have objected that this way of defending intellectualism places undue weight on linguistic considerations and fails to give sufficient attention to empirical considerations from the scientific study of the mind. In this paper, I examine and reject Stanley's recent attempt to answer the critics.
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  26. Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri (2014). Telling, Showing and Knowing: A Unified Theory of Pedagogical Norms. Analysis 74 (1):16-20.
    Pedagogy is a pillar of human culture and society. Telling each other information and showing each other how to do things comes naturally to us. A strong case has been made that declarative knowledge is the norm of assertion, which is our primary way of telling others information. This article presents an analogous case for the hypothesis that procedural knowledge is the norm of instructional demonstration, which is a primary way of showing others how to do things. Knowledge is the (...)
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  27. David Bzdak (2008). On Amnesia and Knowing-How. Techné 12 (1):36-47.
    In this paper, I argue that Stanley and Williamson’s 2001 account of knowledge-how as a species of knowledge-that is wrong. They argue that a claim such as “Hannah knows how to ride a bicycle” is true if and only if Hannah has some relevant knowledge-that. I challenge their claim by considering the case of a famous amnesic patient named Henry M. who is capable of acquiring and retaining new knowledge-how but who is incapable of acquiring and retaining new knowledge-that. In (...)
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  28. David Carr (1999). Art, Practical Knowledge and Aesthetic Objectivity. Ratio 12 (3):240–256.
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  29. David Carr (1979). The Logic of Knowing How and Ability. Mind 88 (351):394-409.
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  30. J. Adam Carter (2013). Relativism, Knowledge and Understanding. Episteme:1-18.
    The arguments for and against a truth-relativist semantics for propositional knowledge attributions (KTR) have been debated almost exclusively in the philosophy of language. But what implications would this semantic thesis have in epistemology? This question has been largely unexplored. The aim of this paper is to establish and critique several ramifications of KTR in mainstream epistemology. The first section of the paper develops, over a series of arguments, the claim that MacFarlane's (2005, 2010) core argument for KTR ultimately motivates (for (...)
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  31. J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard (2014). Knowledge‐How and Cognitive Achievement. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1).
    According to reductive intellectualism, knowledge-how just is a kind of propositional knowledge (e.g., Stanley & Williamson 2001; Stanley 2011a, 2011b; Brogaard, 2008a, 2008b, 2009, 2011, 2009, 2011). This proposal has proved controversial because knowledge-how and propositional knowledge do not seem to share the same epistemic properties, particularly with regard to epistemic luck. Here we aim to move the argument forward by offering a positive account of knowledge-how. In particular, we propose a new kind of anti-intellectualism. Unlike neo-Rylean anti-intellectualist views, according (...)
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  32. J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard (2013). Knowledge‐How and Epistemic Luck. Noûs 47 (4).
    Reductive intellectualists (e.g., Stanley & Williamson ; Stanley ; ; Brogaard ; ; ) hold that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. For this thesis to hold water, it is obviously important that knowledge-how and knowledge-that have the same epistemic properties. In particular, knowledge-how ought to be compatible with epistemic luck to the same extent as knowledge-that. It is argued, contra reductive intellectualism, that knowledge-how is compatible with a species of epistemic luck which is not compatible with knowledge-that, and thus (...)
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  33. Yuri Cath (forthcoming). Knowing How and 'Knowing How'. In Christopher Daly (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophical Methods. Palgrave Macmillan.
    What is the relationship between the linguistic properties of knowledge-how ascriptions and the nature of knowledge-how itself? In this chapter I address this question by examining the linguistic methodology of Stanley and Williamson (2011) and Stanley (2011a, 2011b) who defend the intellectualist view that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. My evaluation of this methodology is mixed. On the one hand, I defend Stanley and Williamson (2011) against critics who argue that the linguistic premises they appeal to—about the syntax and (...)
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  34. Yuri Cath (2014). Revisionary Intellectualism and Gettier. Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    How should intellectualists respond to apparent Gettier-style counterexamples? Stanley (Know how, 2011a, Ch. 8) offers an orthodox response which rejects the claim that the subjects in such scenarios possess knowledge-how. I argue that intellectualists should embrace a revisionary response according to which knowledge-how is a distinctively practical species of knowledge-that that is compatible with Gettier-style luck.
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  35. Yuri Cath (2013). Regarding a Regress. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3):358-388.
    Is there a successful regress argument against intellectualism? In this article I defend the negative answer. I begin by defending Stanley and Williamson's (2001) critique of the contemplation regress against Noë (2005). I then identify a new argument – the employment regress – that is designed to succeed where the contemplation regress fails, and which I take to be the most basic and plausible form of a regress argument against intellectualism. However, I argue that the employment regress still fails. Drawing (...)
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  36. Yuri Cath (2011). Knowing How Without Knowing That. In John Bengson & Mark Moffett (eds.), Knowing How: Essays on Knowledge, Mind, and Action. Oxford University Press. 113.
    In this paper I develop three different arguments against the thesis that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that. Knowledge-that is widely thought to be subject to an anti-luck condition, a justified or warranted belief condition, and a belief condition, respectively. The arguments I give suggest that if either of these standard assumptions is correct then knowledge-how is not a kind of knowledge-that. In closing I identify a possible alternative to the standard Rylean and intellectualist accounts of knowledge-how. This alternative view (...)
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  37. Yuri Cath (2009). The Ability Hypothesis and the New Knowledge-How. Noûs 43 (1):137-156.
    What follows for the ability hypothesis reply to the knowledge argument if knowledge-how is just a form of knowledge-that? The obvious answer is that the ability hypothesis is false. For the ability hypothesis says that, when Mary sees red for the first time, Frank Jackson’s super-scientist gains only knowledge-how and not knowledge-that. In this paper I argue that this obvious answer is wrong: a version of the ability hypothesis might be true even if knowledge-how is a form of knowledge-that. To (...)
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  38. Paul Churchland (2000). Rules, Know-How, and the Future of Moral Cognition. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (Supplement):291-306.
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  39. Andy Clark (2000). Word and Action: Reconciling Rules and Know-How in Moral Cognition. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (sup1):267-289.
    Recent work in cognitive science highlights the importance of exem- plar-based know-how in supporting human expertise. Influenced by this model, certain accounts of moral knowledge now stress exemplar- based, non-sentential know-how at the expense of rule-and-principle based accounts. I shall argue, however, that moral thought and reason cannot be understood by reference to either of these roles alone. Moral cognition – like other forms of ‘advanced’ cognition – depends crucially on the subtle interplay and interaction of multiple factors and forces (...)
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  40. Andy Clark (2000). Word and Action. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (Supplement):267-289.
    Recent work in cognitive science highlights the importance of exemplar-based know-how in supporting human expertise. Influenced by this model, certain accounts of moral knowledge now stress exemplar-based, non-sentential know-how at the expense of rule-and-principle based accounts. I shall argue, however, that moral thought and reason cannot be understood by reference to either of these roles alone. Moral cognition -- like other forms of ‘advanced’ cognition -- depends crucially on the subtle interplay and interaction of multiple factors and forces and especially (...)
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  41. Jon Cogburn (2004). Inferentialism and Tacit Knowledge. Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):503 - 524.
    A central tenet of cognitivism is that knowing how is to be explained in terms of tacitly knowing that a theory is true. By critically examining canonical anti-behaviorist arguments and contemporary appeals to tacit knowledge, I have devised a more explicit characterization in which tacitly known theories must act as justifiers for claims that the tacit knower is capable of explicitly endorsing. In this manner the new account is specifically tied to verbal behavior. In addition, if the analysis is correct (...)
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  42. Gregory Currie (2012). Literature and Truthfulness. In James Maclaurin (ed.), Rationis Defensor. 23-31.
    How should we characterise the view that we can learn about the mind from literature? Should we say that such learning consists in acquiring knowledge of truths? That option is more attractive than it is sometimes made to seem by those who oppose propositional knowledge to practical knowledge or “knowing how”. But some writers on this topic—Lamarque and Olsen—argue that, while literature may express interesting propositions, it is not their truth that matters, but their “content”. Matters to what? To literary (...)
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  43. Gregor Damschen (2009). Dispositional Knowledge-How Versus Propositional Knowledge-That. In Gregor Damschen, Robert Schnepf & Karsten Stueber (eds.), Debating Dispositions. Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind. de Gruyter.
    The paper deals with the question of the structure of knowledge and the precise relationship between propositional "knowledge that" and dispositional "knowledge how." In the first part of my essay, I provide an analysis of the term 'knowing how' and argue that the usual alternatives in the recent epistemological debate – knowing how is either a form of propositional or dispositional knowledge – are misleading. In fact it depends on the semantic and pragmatic context of the usage of this term (...)
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  44. Gregor Damschen, Robert Schnepf & Karsten Stueber (eds.) (2009). Debating Dispositions. Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind. de Gruyter.
    The contributions of this volume analyze the ancient foundations of the discussion about disposition, examine the problem of disposition within the context of ...
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  45. Stephen Davies (2004). The Know-How of Musical Performance. Philosophy of Music Education Review 12 (2):154-159.
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  46. Maria L. Lukac de Stier (1987). Theoretical and Practical Knowledge in Hobbes and Thomas Aquinas. New Scholasticism 61 (1).
  47. Christophe Dejours (2006). Subjectivity, Work, and Action. Critical Horizons 7 (1):45-62.
    This essay is intended to explore relations between work and subjectivity (that is, what concerns the individual subject: his or her suffering, pleasure, personal development, and so on). To this end, we shall draw on a body of theory and clinical practice that has been developing in France for some twenty years under the name of the `psychodynamics of work' and ask the three following questions. What is work? This question might seem trivial, but the clinical analysis of the relationship (...)
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  48. Erhan Demircioglu (2012). Knowing How: Essays on Knowledge, Mind, and Action. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  49. Ophelia Deroy (2010). The Importance of Being Able. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):43-61.
    The paper aims at reconsidering the problem of “practical knowledge” at a proper level of generality, and at showing the role that personal abilities play in it. The notion of “practical knowledge” has for long been the focus of debates both in philosophy and related areas in psychology. It has been wholly captured by debates about ‘knowledge’ and has more recently being challenged in its philosophical foundations as targeting a specific attitude of ‘knowing-how’. But what are the basic facts accounted (...)
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  50. Nigel DeSouza (2013). Pre-Reflective Ethical Know-How. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):279-294.
    In recent years there has been growing attention paid to a kind of human action or activity which does not issue from a process of reflection and deliberation and which is described as, e.g., ‘engaged coping’, ‘unreflective action’, and ‘flow’. Hubert Dreyfus, one of its key proponents, has developed a phenomenology of expertise which he has applied to ethics in order to account for ‘everyday ongoing ethical coping’ or ‘ethical expertise’. This article addresses the shortcomings of this approach by examining (...)
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