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Abstract

You know that George W. Bush is the U.S. president, but you know how to ride a bicycle. What's the difference? According to intellectualists, not much: either knowing how to do something is a matter of knowing that something is the case or, at the very least, know-how requires a prior bit of theoretical knowledge. Anti-intellectualists deny this order of priority: either knowing-how and knowing-that are independent or, at the very least, knowing that something is the case requires a prior bit of know-how. Much of the dispute centers on the relationship between knowing how to do something and having an ability to do it. If having an ability is necessary and sufficient for knowing-how, this is thought to provide comfort for anti-intellectualists. This paper traces the place of ability in the know-how/know-that debate from Ryle's seminal statement of anti-intellectualism through Stanley and Williamson's more recent defense of intellectualism.