Get access

Knowing the Answer



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 76, Issue 2, iv, Article first published online: 26 February 2008


“ev’ry gambler knows that the secret to survivin’ is knowin’ what to throw away and knowing what to keep.”
(Kenny Rogers)

How should one understand knowledge-wh ascriptions? That is, how should one understand claims such as “I know where the car is parked,” which feature an interrogative complement? The received view is that knowledge-wh reduces to knowledge that p, where p happens to be the answer to the question Q denoted by the wh-clause. I will argue that knowledge-wh includes the question—to know-wh is to know that p, as the answer to Q. I will then argue that knowledge-that includes a contextually implicit question. I will conclude that knowledge is a question-relative state. Knowing is knowing the answer, and whether one knows the answer depends (in part) on the question.