How to Know: A Practicalist Conception of Knowledge by Stephen Hetherington

By Stephen Hetherington

A few key features of latest epistemology need to be challenged, and How to Know does simply that. This booklet argues that numerous long-standing presumptions on the middle of the normal analytic notion of information are fake, and defends an alternate, a practicalist perception of knowledge.

  • Presents a philosophically unique belief of data, at odds with a few vital tenets of analytic epistemology
  • Offers a dissolution of epistemology’s notorious Gettier challenge — explaining why the meant challenge used to be by no means rather an issue within the first place.
  • Defends an unorthodox perception of the connection among knowledge-that and knowledge-how, figuring out knowledge-that as a kind of knowledge-how.

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That methodological predilection is misleading, though. It is only because we take for granted that the knowing that p can generate these further members of p’s epistemic diaspora that we may discern — for example, by way of the presence of the augmented accurate belief that p — the presence of the knowledge that p in the first place. My point is that even the augmented true belief is not already knowledge, purely in itself, independently of the actual or possible existence of the other diaspora members.

Doing so enables us, in a first approximation, to say this: One’s knowing that p is one’s accurately believing that p, and/or one’s accurately answering as to whether or about p, and/or one’s accurately recalling that p, and/or one’s accurately reasoning about p, and/or one’s accurately discussing p, and/or one’s accurately providing evidence as to p, and/or one’s accurately asserting that p, and/or one’s accurately acting as if p, and/ or the like. In short, one’s knowing that p is any or all of these, at once or separately.

Ryle’s analysis engendered two dominant reactions. The first has been to accept that knowledge-that and knowledge-how are metaphysically asunder: Knowledge-that is a cognitive state in which one accurately represents or reflects or reports some aspect of reality; knowledge-how is not. Knowledge-how is an ability, a not-necessarily-cognitive capacity to do or act; knowledge-that is not. ) There have also been attempts to refute Ryle. Almost unfailingly, these have sought to show that knowledge-how is a kind of knowledge-that — in effect, to keep some version of intellectualism alive, according knowledgethat a correlative kind of conceptual centrality: The intellectualist reduction.

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