Abstract for Katalin Farkas’ talk

Practical knowledge and practical learning

“You could know all sorts of facts about riding a bicycle, and still not know how to ride a bicycle.” Does this contrast introduce a distinction between two kinds of knowledge? And if the answer is yes, what is exactly the distinction? I will look at some possible answers to this question: that the difference is between the way we ascribe the two kinds (“know that” and “know how”); between subject matters (theoretical and practical); between achievement that does or does not require an ability; between declarative and procedural representation. I will argue that none of these distinctions captures at least one robust sense of the contrast. Instead, the contrast is based on different ways of learning something: through the medium of language or through other means. Hopefully, this proposal will shed new light on the debate about “knowing how”.