Intellectualists typically claim that knowledge-how is best understood as a species of knowledge-that. One prominent argument for this position relies on the claim that it fits better with a range of linguistic data than its competitors do. The present essay challenges this argument in two steps: first, it points out that conditional attributions of knowledge-how pattern very differently from conditional attributions of knowledge-that. Second, it revisits the original linguistic case for Intellectualism, revealing it to be incomplete. The essay concludes by sketching a novel Anti-Intellectualist semantics for ‘knows how’- attributions which is both independently plausible and at least as well-positioned as Intellectualism to explain the extant linguistic data.
Oxford Epistemology Group, 14.00-15.30pm on Thursdays via Zoom. A weekly seminar of visiting speakers, work-in-progress talks, and discussion of recent work in epistemology, for faculty and graduate students. Please email Nick Hughes to be added to the mailing list.
Oxford Epistemology Group Convenor: Nick Hughes