Knowing-that, Knowing-how, or Knowing-to?

Journal of Philosophical Research 42:65-94 (2017)
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Gilbert Ryle has made the famous distinction between intellectual knowing-that and practical knowing-how. Since knowledge in Confucianism is not merely intellectual but also practical, many scholars have argued that such knowledge is knowing-how or, at least, very similar to it. In this essay, focusing on Wang Yangming’s moral knowledge, I shall argue that it is neither knowing-that nor knowing-how, but a third type of knowing, knowing-to. There is a unique feature of knowing-to that is not shared by either knowing-that or knowing-how: a person with knowing-to will act accordingly, while neither knowing-that nor knowing-how, whether separately or combined, will dispose or incline its possessor to act accordingly.



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Yong Huang
Chinese University of Hong Kong

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