David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (3):505-521 (2006)
Is knowledge of language a kind of knowledge-that or knowledge-how? Michael Devitt’s Ignorance of Language argues that knowledge of language is a kind of knowledge-how. Devitt’s account of knowledge of language is embedded in a more general account of the nature of language as grounded in thought. The paper argues that Devitt’s view is inconsistent when thought is understood in an externalist or anti-individualist way. A key phenomenon in externalist thought experiments is the possibility of incomplete or mistaken understanding, and its correction. This phenomenon is exhibited in our knowledge of language. Expanding on some brief remarks by Chomsky, it is argued that speakers display incomplete understanding in making mistakes in linguistic judgrnents. These mistakes can be irnproved through reflection on cases. In this process of mistake, reflection, and correction, speakers’ knowledge of language remains stable despite the change in linguistic judgments. This stable knowledge of language cannot be understood as kind of knowledge-how, without making the rational efficacy of reflection a constitutive feature of knowledge-how. But to do this is to obliterate the distinction between knowledge-how and knowledge-that. The conclusion is that if externalism about thought is accepted, then the knowledge in language is a kind of knowledge-that.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Devitt (2010). What "Intuitions" Are Linguistic Evidence? Erkenntnis 73 (2):251 - 264.
M. J. Cain (2010). Linguistics, Psychology and the Scientific Study of Language. Dialectica 64 (3):385-404.
Michael Devitt (2010). What “Intuitions” Are Linguistic Evidence? Erkenntnis 73 (2):251-264.
Similar books and articles
Cheng-Hung Tsai (2010). Practical Knowledge of Language. Philosophia 38 (2):331-341.
Barry C. Smith (2006). What We Know When We Know a Language. In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. OUP Oxford
Barry C. Smith (2006). What I Know When I Know a Language. In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press
Barry C. Smith (2008). What Remains of Our Knowledge of Language? Croatian Journal of Philosophy 8 (22):557-75.
Dean Pettit (2002). Why Knowledge is Unnecessary for Understanding Language. Mind 111 (443):519-550.
Barry C. Smith (2006). Why We Still Need Knowledge of Language. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (18):431-457.
Patricia Hanna (2006). Swimming and Speaking Spanish. Philosophia 34 (3):267-285.
John Collins (2008). Knowledge of Language Redux. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):3-43.
Cheng-Hung Tsai (2011). Linguistic Know-How: The Limits of Intellectualism. Theoria 77 (1):71-86.
Rama Kant Agnihotri & H. K. Dewan (eds.) (2010). Knowledge, Language and Learning. Macmillan Publishers India.
Cheng-Hung Tsai (2006). On the Epistemology of Language. Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (4):677-696.
Alex Barber (ed.) (2003). Epistemology of Language. Oxford University Press.
Jing Wang & Zhilin Zhang (2008). What Kind of Knowledge is Necessary for the Interpretation of Language? Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (3):409-423.
Huiming Ren (2012). The Distinction Between Knowledge-That and Knowledge-How. Philosophia 40 (4):857-875.
Guttorm Fløistad (1969). Spinoza's Theory of Knowledge. Inquiry 12 (1-4):41 – 65.
Added to index2011-01-09
Total downloads17 ( #203,283 of 1,789,825 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #166,716 of 1,789,825 )
How can I increase my downloads?