Professional Knowledge, Expertise and Perceptual Ability

In Christopher Winch & Mark Addis (eds.), Education and Expertise. Wiley. pp. 138–156 (2018)
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This chapter addresses the role of perceptual knowledge (knowledge by acquaintance) in the development of expertise in professional contexts. It seeks to answer the question of how, if at all, does heightened knowledge by acquaintance inform a high level of professional know‐how. Successful action requires the articulation of various epistemic capacities: to draw on relevant systematic knowledge, to understand the nature of the problem faced, to perceive the essentials in complex situations and to judge and then to act appropriately. The aim is to bring together philosophical and empirical considerations to show how best to understand the ability to perceive the essentials in complex situations and how this ability bears on the ability to judge and to act appropriately in professional contexts. Perceptual concepts are acquired through social intercourse rather than through introspection and labelling.



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Christopher Winch
King's College London

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