What is it that cognitive abilities are abilities to do?

Acta Analytica 24 (4):223-236 (2009)
Abstract
This article outlines a conception of perceptual-recognitional abilities. These include abilities to recognize certain things from their appearance to some sensory modality, as being of some kind, or as possessing some property. An assumption of the article is that these abilities are crucial for an adequate understanding of perceptual knowledge. The specific aim here is to contrast those abilities with abilities or competences as conceived in the virtue-theoretic literature, with particular reference to views of Ernest Sosa and John Greco. In the course of the discussion, it is emphasized that the notion of exercising a perceptual-recognitional ability is a success notion: exercising such an ability is nothing less than acquiring knowledge. Even so, the view can make sense of our fallibility. It can also be defended in the face of an objection stemming from consideration of what are here called success-rate abilities.
Keywords Competence  Greco  Knowledge  Perceptual-recognitional ability  Sosa  Virtue epistemology
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DOI 10.1007/s12136-009-0062-4
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References found in this work BETA
The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
Discrimination and Perceptual Knowledge.Alvin Goldman - 1976 - Journal of Philosophy 73 (November):771-791.
The Nature of Ability and the Purpose of Knowledge.John Greco - 2007 - Philosophical Issues 17 (1):57–69.
Knowledge and Success From Ability.John Greco - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (1):17 - 26.
What the Disjunctivist is Right About.Alan Millar - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):176-199.

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Citations of this work BETA
Skill in Epistemology I: Skill and Knowledge.Carlotta Pavese - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):642-649.
Fake Barns and False Dilemmas.Clayton Littlejohn - 2014 - Episteme 11 (4):369-389.
Why Knowledge Matters.Alan Millar - 2011 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85 (1):63-81.
How Visual Perception Yields Reasons for Belief.Alan Millar - 2011 - Philosophical Issues 21 (1):332-351.
I—Alan Millar: Why Knowledge Matters.Alan Millar - 2011 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85 (1):63-81.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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