Linguistics and Philosophy 43 (3):247-275 (2020)

Marija Jankovic
Davidson College
Stanley and Williamson :411–444, 2001) argue for intellectualism—the thesis that knowing how is a type of knowing that—in part by defending a thesis about the semantics of English ascriptions of knowing how. But ascriptions of practical knowledge seem to exhibit significant crosslinguistic variation. This observation has been invoked to argue that S&W’s analysis reflects a quirk of English rather than a general feature of the concept of knowledge. I argue that the type of argument employed by both S&W and their critics presupposes that the categories of denotational semantics correspond to those of the theory of mental content. But the relation between the semantic theory and the theory of content is more complex than this. Specifically, a closer look at ascriptions of practical knowledge and other obligatory control constructions in various languages shows that semantic theory needs distinctions that are redundant from the perspective of the theory of content, and that important distinctions in the theory of content may fail to correspond to any distinctions in semantic theory. It follows that we may not be able to read off as much about mental states as S&W and their critics try to from the structure of their ascriptions.
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-019-09267-6
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References found in this work BETA

Knowing How.Jason Stanley & Timothy Willlamson - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (8):411-444.
Ought, Agents, and Actions.Mark Schroeder - 2011 - Philosophical Review 120 (1):1-41.
Against Intellectualism.Alva Noë - 2005 - Analysis 65 (4):278-290.
Knowing.Jason Stanley - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):207-238.
Semantics and Metasemantics in the Context of Generative Grammar.Seth Yalcin - 2014 - In Alexis Burgess & Brett Sherman (eds.), Metasemantics: New Essays on the Foundations of Meaning. Oxford University Press. pp. 17-54.

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