Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Uniform Knowledge Attributions Essay -- Philosophy

There is a philosophical tradition going back at least to Gilbert Ryle’s 1948 The Concept of Mind of distinguishing â€Å"knowledge how†from â€Å"knowledge that†, in which the latter is taken to be a kind of propositional attitude, while the former is taken to be a kind of ability or capacity. Paradigm examples are, respectively: Sally knows how to ride a bike. (1) Sally knows that she owns a bike. (2) More recently, this distinction has come under renewed scrutiny, notably with [Stanley and Williamson, 2001] arguing that there really is no such distinction, and that â€Å"knowledge how†is really a species of propositional knowledge, though the proposition is known under a different â€Å"mode of presentation† than the types of knowledge typically expressed by â€Å"knowledge that†attributions. Their suggestion is that all knowledge claims are syntactically and semantically uniform, so that philosophical argumentation would be needed to support Ryle’s distinction. In addition, they show that Ryle’s argument was flawed, and provide an account that deals with many other philosophical worries, while giving prima facie evidence that, contrary to what one might expect, (1) is not actually talking about an ability. They argue first that Ryle’s argument in favor of a distinction was incorrect. Then they suggest that linguistic evidence recommends a uniform analysis for all uses of the word â€Å"know†. Finally, they consider various philosophical arguments that might motivate a departure from the linguistic structure, and find them wanting. Thus, they suggest that we should stick with the uniformity of knowledge ascriptions that is suggested by the linguistic data. I will argue that the linguistic data are not as clear-cut as they suggest. ... ...y and Williamson allege for (1). (Interestingly, I haven’t been able to come up with any such counterexamples with â€Å"how†, â€Å"whether†, or â€Å"why†, just with â€Å"who†, â€Å"when†, and possibly â€Å"where†.) This different structure can then give rise to a different sort of meaning. Thus, although some attributions of â€Å"knowledge wh- to†are similar in kind to attributions of â€Å"knowledge that†, I suggest that the linguistic evidence does not immediately imply that all of them are. References [Lahiri, 1991] Lahiri, U. (1991). Embedded Interrogatives and the Predicates that Embed Them. PhD thesis, MIT. [No ¨e, 2005] No ¨e, A. (2005). Against intellectualism. Analysis, 65:278–290. [Schaffer, ] Schaffer, J. Knowing the answer. Unpublished manuscript. [Stanley and Williamson, 2001] Stanley, J. and Williamson, T. (2001). Knowing how. Journal of Philosophy, 98(8):411–444.

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