Knowledge How, Procedural Knowledge, and the Type-Token Action Clause

Acta Analytica 34 (3):327-343 (2019)


This paper argues that the propositions “S knowing how to Φ entails that S has the ability to Φ” and “S knowing how to Φ does not entail the ability to Φ” can both be true and non-contradictory when true, so long as one distinguishes between Φ as an action-type and Φ as an action-token. In order to defend this claim, recent work by Young, Levy, and Gaultier is discussed with a view to integrating into a coherent and novel position certain commonalities within their respective views. As a consequence of this integration, a revised version of Young’s type-token action clause is suggested that provides comprehensive support for the assertion that knowing how to Φ both does and does not necessitate the ability to Φ, depending on whether one is talking about action types or action tokens.

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Garry Young
University of Melbourne

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