Know-How and Gradability

Philosophical Review 126 (3):345-383 (2017)
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Abstract

Orthodoxy has it that knowledge is absolute—that is, it cannot come in degrees. On the other hand, there seems to be strong evidence for the gradability of know-how. Ascriptions of know-how are gradable, as when we say that one knows in part how to do something, or that one knows how to do something better than somebody else. When coupled with absolutism, the gradability of ascriptions of know-how can be used to mount a powerful argument against intellectualism about know-how—the view that know-how is a species of propositional knowledge. This essay defends intellectualism from the argument of gradability. It is argued that the gradability of ascriptions of know-how should be discounted as a rather superficial linguistic phenomenon, one that can be explained in a way compatible with the absoluteness of the state reported.

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Carlotta Pavese
Cornell University

Citations of this work

Know-How as Competence. A Rylean Responsibilist Account.David Lowenstein - 2017 - Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann.
Knowing How.Yuri Cath - 2019 - Analysis 79 (3):487-503.
Know-How, Action, and Luck.Carlotta Pavese - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 7):1595-1617.
Knowledge-How, Abilities, and Questions.Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):86-104.
Skill in Epistemology II: Skill and Know How.Carlotta Pavese - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):650-660.

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References found in this work

Word and Object.Willard Van Orman Quine - 1960 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
Knowledge and Practical Interests.Jason Stanley - 2005 - Oxford University Press.
Science Without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism.Hartry Field - 1980 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
Aboutness.Stephen Yablo - 2014 - Princeton University Press.

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