Chapter

The Cognitive Science of Practical Knowledge

Jason Stanley

in Know How

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199695362
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729768 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695362.003.0007
The Cognitive Science of Practical Knowledge

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This chapter argues that the cognitive science of the knowledge behind skilled action is consistent with the view of knowing how, and its relation to skill, argued for in the book. First, the chapter shows that the notion of procedural knowledge as it is discussed in the cognitive science literature could be identified with knowing how in the sense in the sense defended in the book. Secondly, an argument for the view that all propositional knowledge is declarative knowledge in the cognitive scientific sense is considered and rejected. Another set of arguments that uses the cognitive neuroscience literature to show that procedural knowledge is not propositional knowledge are shown to rest on an insufficient appreciation of externalist insights about knowledge. Various arguments for the view that knowing how to do something is non-conceptual in nature are considered. Finally, the chapter argues that the literature of the verbal overshadowing effect confirms some of the previous morals on what it is to act for a reason.

Keywords: procedural knowledge; declarative knowledge; externalist theories of knowledge; non-conceptual content; skill

Chapter.  12727 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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