Why Intellectualism Still Fails

Philosophical Quarterly 66 (264):500-515 (2016)
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Intellectualism about knowledge-how is the view that knowing how to do something amounts to knowing a fact. The version of intellectualism defended by Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson holds that knowledge-how is a species of knowledge-wh, i.e., knowledge-where, -when, -who, etc. It draws its major motivation from the uniformity between ascriptions of knowledge-how and ascriptions of knowledge-wh in English, being all infinitival embedded question constructions. My aim in this paper is to challenge intellectualism of this sort. I argue that the linguistic motivation for the view is not preserved across languages and that it cannot be sustained from the perspective of other languages. I will show this by examining ascriptions of practical knowledge and knowledge-wh in Russian, Turkish and German. The cross-linguistic data further suggest that ‘know how’ is ambiguous in English. In the end, the cross-linguistic data will be used to question an argument for the propositionality of practical knowledge.



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Andreas Ditter
University College London

Citations of this work

Know-how as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Löwenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
Know-How and Gradability.Carlotta Pavese - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (3):345-383.
Knowing How.Yuri Cath - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):487-503.
Skill in epistemology II: Skill and know how.Carlotta Pavese - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):650-660.
Knowledge How.Jeremy Fantl - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

What 'must' and 'can' must and can mean.Angelika Kratzer - 1977 - Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (3):337--355.
Know How.Jason Stanley - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Knowing.Jason Stanley - 2010 - Noûs 45 (2):207-238.
Practical Modes of Presentation.Ephraim Glick - 2015 - Noûs 49 (3):538-559.

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