Groups Can Know How

American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (3):265-276 (2019)

Abstract

One can know how to ride a bicycle, play the cello, or collect experimental data. But who can know how to properly ride a tandem bicycle, perform a symphony, or run a high-energy physics experiment? Reductionist analyses fail to account for these cases strictly in terms of the individual know-how involved. Nevertheless, it doesn't follow from non-reductionism that groups possess this know-how. One must first show that epistemic extension cannot obtain. This is the idea that individuals can possess knowledge even when others possess some of the epistemic materials generating it. I show that only knowledge-that can be epistemically extended, not knowledge-how. Appeal to epistemic extension is a viable way of avoiding group knowledge-that ascriptions but not group knowledge-how ascriptions. Therefore, groups can know how.

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References found in this work

The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.
Scientific Perspectivism.Ronald N. Giere - 2006 - University of Chicago Press.
Knowing How.Jason Stanley & Timothy Willlamson - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (8):411-444.

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Citations of this work

Epistemic Autonomy and Group Knowledge.Chris Dragos - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6259-6279.
Group (Epistemic) Competence.Dani Pino - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11377-11396.
Social Epistemology and Knowing-How.Yuri Cath - forthcoming - In Jennifer Lackey & Aidan McGlynn (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology. Oxford University Press.

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