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An emerging trend in cognitive science is to explore central epistemological questions using psychological methods. Early work in this growing area of research has revealed that epistemologists' theories of knowledge diverge in various ways from the ways in which ordinary people think of knowledge. Reflecting the practices of epistemology as a whole, the vast majority of these studies have focused on the concept of propositional knowledge, or knowledge-that. Many philosophers, however, have argued that knowing how to do something is importantly different from knowing that something is the case. Hence, in this paper we turn our attention to people's concept of knowledge-how. We present data from two experiments that employed a sentence recognition task as an implicit measure of conceptual activation. The data from this implicit measure suggest that, contrary to prominent intellectualist theories of knowhow, according to which know-how is a species of propositional knowledge, people's concept of know-how more closely aligns with anti-intellectualism, the view that knowing how to perform some task consists in having the appropriate skills or abilities.

Source Citation

Harmon, I., & Horne, Z. (2016). Evidence for anti-intellectualism about know-how from a sentence recognition task. Synthese, 193(9), 2929-2947.



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