Anscombe on 'Practical Knowledge'

In J. Hyman & H. Steward (eds.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 43-68 (2004)
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Among the legacies of Elizabeth Anscombe's 1957 monograph Intention are the introduction of the notion of 'practical knowledge' into contemporary philosophical discussion of action, and her claim, pursued throughout the book, that an agent's knowledge of what he is doing is characteristically not based on observation.' Each idea by itself has its own obscurities, of course, but my focus here will be on the relation between the two ideas, how it is that the discussion of action may lead us to speak of non-observational knowledge at all, and how this notion can be part of the understanding of a kind of ordinary knowledge that we have reason to consider practical rather than speculative. Anscombe mentions several quite different things under the heading of 'non-observational knowledge', and she first introduces the notion of the nonobservational for purely dialectical purposes, associated with the task of setting out the field she wants to investigate, in a way that ...



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