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Rutgers-Arché Knowing How Workshop



  Time: 2 July, 2011 - 3 July, 2011
  Location: School II, St Salvator's Quad, St Andrews


  • John Bengson (Wisconsin)
  • Yuri Cath (St Andrews)
  • Michael Devitt (CUNY)
  • Ephraim Glick (St Andrews)
  • Katherine Hawley (St Andrews)
  • Jennifer Hornsby (London)
  • Jason Stanley (Rutgers)

    Saturday 2nd July

    09:00-09:30 tea and Coffee
    09:30-11:00 Katherine Hawley Assertion and Knowing How
    11:15-12:45 Yuri Cath The Nature and Value of Practical Knowledge
    12:45-14:30 lunch
    14:30-16:00 Jennifer Hornsby Activity as it relates to Agents’ Knowledge
    16:00-16:30 tea and coffee
    16:30-18:00 Jason Stanley Knowledge of Action

    7pm Conference Dinner at Zizzi Restaurant

    Sunday 3rd July

    09:00-09:30 tea and coffee
    09:30-11:00 Ephraim Glick Linguistic Arguments concerning Know-How
    11:15-12:45 John Bengson Knowledge How and the Possibility of Intelligent Action
    12:45-14:00 lunch
    14:00-15:30 Michael Devitt Methodology and the Nature of Knowing How
    15:30-16:00 tea and Coffee


A google map for the conference location can be found

Conference Theme

What is the nature of the knowledge one has when one knows how to do something? For example, when one knows how to speak Spanish, calculate a sum, or bowl a googly. Gilbert Ryle (1949) famously claimed that “knowing how” could not be analysed in terms of “knowing that”. To know how to perform an action, according to Ryle, is not to know some fact about a method or procedure for performing that action. Rather, it is to possess a certain kind of ability or dispositional capacity. Under Ryle's influence, the idea that there is a fundamental distinction in kind between knowing-how and knowing-that became widely accepted, and this distinction was applied to important debates in the philosophy of mind and language.

Recently, however, there has been a resurgence of support for “intellectualist” views of knowing-how according to which it is a kind of knowing-that. This intellectualist revival has been strongly opposed by some philosophers and the ensuing debates have stimulated a great deal of new research on knowing-how, including work on the following issues:

  • What is the relationship between knowledge-how and intentional action?
  • How does Ryle’s critique of the “intellectualist legend”—which is a view about the nature of intelligent actions—relate to contemporary debates about the nature of knowledge-how? Are intellectualists committed to the intellectualist legend?
  • Knowledge-that is widely assumed to be subject to an “anti-luck” condition. But is knowledge-how subject to such a condition?
  • What is the correct syntax and semantics for sentences of the form ‘S knows how to F’?
  • Are intellectualists making a methodological mistake when they claim that linguistic facts about the syntax and semantics of knowing-how ascriptions support their view of the metaphysics of knowing-how states?
  • What are the implications of intellectualism for those philosophical positions that appeal to Ryle’s view of knowing-how?
  • Is the intellectualist view of knowing-how consistent with work in the cognitive sciences on “tacit” and “procedural” knowledge”?

This joint Arché/Rutgers workshop will bring together leading researchers in this field to explore questions like these concerning the nature of knowing-how and its relationship to knowing-that.


This workshop is open to people from outside Arché (although please note that places are limited). To register you need to pay the delegate fee at the online shop for the conference We recommend that before registering online you check to see that you can find accommodation as the workshop is on at a busy time of year in St Andrews. You can find some information about accommodation in St Andrews here. The costs for the workshop are as follows: £32 per delegate per day of the workshop which includes lunch and tea/coffee in the morning and afternoon. On the online shop you can choose to pay for both or just one of the two days of the workshop. On the online shop you can also sign-up and pay for the workshop dinner. The dinner is on Saturday the 2nd July 7pm at Zizzi Restaurant, St Andrews. The cost per head is £26 (which includes 3 courses and wine and coffee). There is a space on the online shop where you can make note of any special dietary preferences which we will pass on to both the lunch caterers and also the restaurant (if you attend the dinner).


If you need to arrange childcare while you are in town for the workshop and would like some help or suggestions about how to find childcare in St Andrews contact Yuri Cath at