The ability hypothesis and the new knowledge-how

Noûs 43 (1):137-156 (2009)
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 establish this conclusion I utilize Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson’s well-known account of knowledge-how as “simply a species of propositional knowledge” (Stanley & Williamson 2001: 1). I demonstrate that we can restate the core claims of the ability hypothesis – that Mary only gains new knowledge-how and not knowledge-that – within their account of knowledge-how as a species of knowledge-that. I examine the implications of this result for both critics and proponents of the ability hypothesis.
Keywords Ability Hypothesis  Knowledge Argument  Intellectualism  Knowledge How  Knowledge That
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    Yuri Cath (2013). Regarding a Regress. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3):358-388.
    Ephraim Glick (2011). Two Methodologies for Evaluating Intellectualism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (2):398-434.
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