The Epistemology of Know-How
There is an as yet unacknowledged and incomparable contribution to the philosophical debates about know-how to be found in the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein. It is sourced in his investigations into knowledge and certainty in On Certainty, though it is not limited to these late passages. Understanding the ramifications of this putative contribution (even if one does not agree with it) highlights the extent to which (i) there is now a new range of issues pertaining to know-how which no future philosophical consideration of the topic can ignore, except on pain of failing to engage comprehensively with the subject; (ii) the topic of know-how has been inappropriately marginalised by naturalized epistemology, and may well be as central to epistemology as the propositional knowledge which currently dominates epistemology’s attention; and (iii) any engagement with these potential Wittgensteinian contributions will need to be conducted in tandem with a reflection on the meta-philosophy of epistemology, since their potential impact extends to epistemology’s main methodology, i.e., naturalized reflective equilibrium. These three conclusions, together with a diagnosis of where and why all the current intellectualist accounts of know-how are either internally inconsistent, or irreconcilably flawed on their own terms, provide the motivation and the opportunity for a New Epistemology of Know-How. These conclusions established, I offer one possible Wittgensteinian-orientated version of the New Epistemology of Know-How, providing the first example of a non-naturalized philosophical approach to the topic since Gilbert Ryle.