Dummett's Notion of Implicit Knowledge

Philosophical Writings 24:17-35 (2003)
Cheng-hung Tsai
Academia Sinica, Taiwan
In this paper I evaluate Michael Dummett's notion of implicit knowledge by examining his answers to these two questions: (1) Why should we ascribe knowledge of a meaning-theory of a language to a language-user, and why the mode of this knowledge is implicit, but not pure theoretical, pure practical, or unconscious in a Chomskian sense? (2) How could a meaning-theory, which is known implicitly, function as a rule to be followed by the language-user? To answer (1) I shall construct Dummett's argument for implicit knowledge, which includes three sub-arguments: the argument from rationality, the argument from dilemma, and the argument from communicability. As to (2), I argue that Dummett's answer confuses knowledge of a meaning-theory with knowledge of a set of grammars.
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