Fake Knowledge-How

Philosophical Quarterly (2024)
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Knowledge, like other things of value, can be faked. According to Hawley (2011), know-how is harder to fake than knowledge-that, given that merely apparent propositional knowledge is in general more resilient to our attempts at successful detection than are corresponding attempts to fake know-how. While Hawley’s reasoning for a kind of detection resilience asymmetry between know-how and know-that looks initially plausible, it should ultimately be resisted. In showing why, we outline different ways in which know-how can be faked even when a given performance is successful; and in doing so, we distinguish how know-how can be faked (no less than know-that) via upstream and downstream indicators of its presence, and within each of these categories, we’ll distinguish (in connection with detection resilience) both faking symptoms and (various kinds of) criteria. The unappreciated resilience of faked knowledge-how to successful detection highlights a largely overlooked dimension of social-epistemic risk – risk we face not just in our capacity as recipients of testimony, but in our capacity as both (would-be) apprentices and clients of knowledge-how.


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Author Profiles

J. Adam Carter
University of Glasgow
Jesus Navarro
Universidad de Sevilla

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