Know-how and non-propositional intentionality

TitleKnow-how and non-propositional intentionality
Publication TypeBook Chapter
AuthorsKatalin, Farkas
EditorsMontague, Michelle, and Alex Grzankowski
Book TitleNon-propositional intentionality
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of PublicationOxford

This chapter addresses the question of whether know-how is non-propositional. The question is usually approached through asking whether “know-how” is distinct from “know-that”. The chapter proposes that we should narrow our question. It briefly recalls a certain tradition of talking about knowledge that sees it as a uniquely human cognitive achievement with a normative aspect. The central and paradigmatic case has been a certain kind of possession of truth. But is there another, similarly valuable and uniquely human cognitive achievement? The outlines of such a concept are presented: it’s an ability to reliably succeed in performing some action, which was developed and refined through reflection. Practical knowledge is evaluated for reliable success in action, rather than for truth, so it’s not propositional; but it has a reflective element which makes it similar to propositional knowledge. This conception combines elements of intellectualism and anti-intellectualism about knowledge-how.

Department of Philosophy