David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Inquiry 55 (1):50 - 65 (2012)
Abstract An important strand of theories of practice stress that individuals' practical knowledge, i.e., their ability to act in appropriate and/or effective ways, is mainly tacit. This means that the social scientist cannot find out about this knowledge by simply asking the individuals she studies to articulate how it is appropriate and/or effective to act in various circumstances. In this paper, I pursue the proposal that the method of participant observation may be used to find out about individuals' practical knowledge. Surprisingly, the literature does not contain any systematic and comprehensive discussion of this suggestion. I distinguish and exemplify four types of observation that are indicative of individuals' practical knowledge. The observations may serve as a basis for the social scientist's formulations of this knowledge. Further, I point to two main ways in which things may go wrong when the social scientist uses participant observation to find out about individuals' practical knowledge. I argue that the social scientist can make reasonably sure to avoid these two potential difficulties. Accordingly, I conclude that these difficulties do not undermine the effectiveness of the method. In this sense, social scientists are right to use the method of participant observation to find out about individuals' practical knowledge
|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
Pierre Bourdieu (1992). The Logic of Practice. Inquiry 35:447.
Pierre Bourdieu (1981). Outline of a Theory of Practice. Human Studies 4 (3):273-278.
Theodore R. Schatzki, K. Knorr-Cetina & Eike von Savigny (eds.) (2001). The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory. Routledge.
Bronislaw Malinowski (1922). Argonauts of the Western Pacific. George Routledge & Sons.
James Bohman (1997). New Philosophy of Social Science. Human Studies 20 (4):429-440.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Anne Newstead (2006). Knowledge by Intention? On the Possibility of Agent's Knowledge. In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Aspects of Knowing. Elsevier Science 183.
David Kirsh (2012). Running It Through the Body. Proceedings of the 34th Annual Cognitive Science Society.
David Kirsh (2012). Running It Through the Body. Proceedings of the 34th Annual Cognitive Science Society 34:593-598.
John Schwenkler (2011). Perception and Practical Knowledge. Philosophical Explorations 14 (2):137-152.
Richard Moran (2004). Anscombe on 'Practical Knowledge'. In J. Hyman & H. Steward (eds.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press 43-68.
Martin Bulmer (ed.) (1982). Social Research Ethics: An Examination of the Merits of Covert Participant Observation. Holmes & Meier Publishers.
Kieran Setiya (2008). Practical Knowledge. Ethics 118 (3):388-409.
Cheng-Hung Tsai (2010). Practical Knowledge of Language. Philosophia 38 (2):331-341.
Jennifer Hornsby & Jason Stanley (2005). I-Paper by Jennifer Hornsby. Semantic Knowledge and Practical Knowledge. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 79 (1):107–130.
Josep Corbí (2011). Observation, Character, and A Purely First-Person Point of View. Acta Analytica 26 (4):311-328.
Josep E. Corbí (2011). Observation, Character, and A Purely First-Person Point of View. Acta Analytica 26 (4):311-328.
Rachel McKinnon (2011). Lotteries, Knowledge, and Practical Reasoning. Logos and Episteme 2 (2):225-231.
John Hyman (1999). How Knowledge Works. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (197):433-451.
William D. Stillwell (2003). Tacit Knowledge And The Work Of Ikujiro Nonaka. Tradition and Discovery 30 (1):19-22.
Added to index2012-01-19
Total downloads25 ( #132,639 of 1,777,936 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #291,290 of 1,777,936 )
How can I increase my downloads?