Understanding 'Practical Knowledge'

Philosophers' Imprint 15 (2015)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The concept of practical knowledge is central to G.E.M. Anscombe's argument in Intention, yet its meaning is little understood. There are several reasons for this, including a lack of attention to Anscombe's ancient and medieval sources for the concept, and an emphasis on the more straightforward concept of knowledge "without observation" in the interpretation of Anscombe's position. This paper remedies the situation, first by appealing to the writings of Thomas Aquinas to develop an account of practical knowledge as a distinctive form of thought that "aims at production" of things that lie within an agent's power; and then by showing how this Thomistic understanding of practical cognition seems to have been Anscombe's, too. Having done this, I question whether the thesis that agential knowledge is practical knowledge entails that an agent always has non-observational knowledge of what she is intentionally doing. I answer "Not": Anscombe's claims to the contrary rest on a misleading assimilation of human beings' finite agency to that of an infinite agent like God

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Anscombe on 'Practical Knowledge'.Richard Moran - 2004 - In J. Hyman & H. Steward (eds.), Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement. Cambridge University Press. pp. 43-68.
Anscombe on Practical Knowledge.Kieran Setiya - 2016 - In Practical Knowledge: Selected Essays. New York, New York: Oxford University Press.
Anscombe and Practical Knowledge of What Is Happening.Thor Grünbaum - 2009 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 78 (1):41-67.
Perception and Practical Knowledge.John Schwenkler - 2011 - Philosophical Explorations 14 (2):137-152.
Knowledge by Intention? On the Possibility of Agent's Knowledge.Anne Newstead - 2006 - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Aspects of Knowing. Elsevier Science. pp. 183.
‘Our’ Practical Knowledge.Yukio Irie - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 33:21-26.
Interpreting Anscombe’s Intention §32FF.Anne Newstead - 2009 - Journal of Philosophical Research 34:157-176.
Anscombe and practical knowledge of what is happening Thor Grünbaum university of copenhagen.Practical Knowledge of What Is Happening - 2009 - Grazer Philosophische Studien: Internationale Zeitschrift für Analytische Philosophie. Vol. 78 78:41-67.
Warrant and action.Mikkel Gerken - 2011 - Synthese 178 (3):529-547.
Practical knowledge of language.Cheng-Hung Tsai - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (2):331-341.

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-11-19

Downloads
1,985 (#4,723)

6 months
167 (#19,750)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

John Schwenkler
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Citations of this work

Knowledge, practical knowledge, and intentional action.Joshua Shepherd & J. Adam Carter - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 9:556-583.
Mental action.Antonia Peacocke - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (6):e12741.

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Add more references