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Action, Knowledge, and Will$
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John Hyman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198735779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735779.001.0001

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Knowledge as an Ability

Knowledge as an Ability

Chapter:
(p.159) 7 Knowledge as an Ability
Source:
Action, Knowledge, and Will
Author(s):

John Hyman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198735779.003.0007

Modern epistemology was born in the shadow of scepticism, but we need to separate the task of explaining what knowledge is from any attempt to prove that it exists. In order to decide whether we have or are capable of having knowledge of some kind—knowledge about the past, the future, good and evil, and so on—we need to ask how knowledge of that kind can be obtained. But knowledge is an ability. So if we want to explain what knowledge is, we need to ask what it is an ability to do, in other words, how it gets exercised or expressed. We need to look forward to how it is applied, rather than backward to how it is acquired, turning the investigation round by 180 degrees.

Keywords:   knowledge, belief, ability, scepticism, reason, fact

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