Know-how, intellectualism, and memory systems

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A longstanding tradition in philosophy distinguishes between knowthatand know-how. This traditional “anti-intellectualist” view is soentrenched in folk psychology that it is often invoked in supportof an allegedly equivalent distinction between explicit and implicitmemory, derived from the so-called “standard model of memory.”In the last two decades, the received philosophical view has beenchallenged by an “intellectualist” view of know-how. Surprisingly, defenders of the anti-intellectualist view have turned to the cognitivescience of memory, and to the standard model in particular, todefend their view. Here, I argue that this strategy is a mistake. As it turns out, upon closer scrutiny, the evidence from cognitivepsychology and neuroscience of memory does not support theanti-intellectualist approach, mainly because the standard modelof memory is likely wrong. However, this need not be interpretedas good news for the intellectualist, for it is not clear that theempirical evidence necessarily supports their view either. I arguethat, currently, the philosophical debate is couched in terms thatdo not correspond to categories in psychological science. As aresult, the debate has to either be re-interpreted in a vocabularythat is amenable to experimental scrutiny, or it cannot be settledempirically.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • De Brigard, F

Published Date

  • January 1, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 32 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 719 - 758

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1465-394X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0951-5089

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/09515089.2019.1607280

Citation Source

  • Scopus