A wide variety of skills, abilities and knowledge are used in technological activities such as engineering design. Together, they enable problem solving and artefact creation. Gilbert Ryle’s division of knowledge into knowing how and knowing that is often referred to when discussing this technological knowledge. Ryle’s view has been questioned and criticised by those who claim that there is only one type, for instance, Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson who claim that knowing how is really a form of knowing that and Stephen Hetherington who claims that knowing that is knowing how. Neither Ryle himself nor any of his critics have discussed technological knowledge. Exposing both Ryle’s and his critics’ ideas to technological knowledge show that there are strong reasons to keep the knowing how–knowing that dichotomy in technological contexts. The main reasons are that they are justified in different ways, that Stanley’s and Williamson’s ideas have great difficulties to account for learning of technological knowing how through training, and that knowing that is susceptible to Gettier problems, which technological knowing how is not.
Philosophy & Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 30, 2014