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What's the point of knowing how?

Abstract Why is it useful to talk and think about knowledge‐how? Using Edward Craig's discussion of the function of the concepts of knowledge as a jumping off point, this paper argues that considering this question can offer us new angles on the debate about knowledge‐how. We consider two candidate functions for the concept of knowledge‐how: pooling capacities and mutual reliance. Craig makes the case for pooling capacities, which connects knowledge‐how to our need to pool practical capacities. I argue that the evidence is much more equivocal and in fact supports both functions. I propose that the concept of knowledge‐how plays both functions, meaning that it is inconsistent and that the debate about knowledge‐how is at least partly a metalinguistic negotiation. In closing, I suggest a way to revise the philosophical concept of knowledge how.

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