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Know How$
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Jason Stanley

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199695362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199695362.001.0001

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Knowledge How

Knowledge How

(p.111) 5 Knowledge How
Know How

Jason Stanley

Oxford University Press

Ascriptions of knowing how to do something in English involve infinitival embedded questions, such as “how to swim”. Previous chapters covered basic issues in the semantics of questions, as well as the meaning of PRO, the unpronounced element in such constructions. This chapter completes the task of giving an account of the meaning of ascriptions of knowing how, by supplying two remaining elements – the account of the meaning of infinitives in such constructions, and the proper treatment of the “mention-some/mention all” ambiguity associated with embedded question constructions. Combining this with an account of the ways of thinking relevant for such constructions yields a full account of the nature of states of knowing how, which is then brought to bear on the relationship between knowing how to do something, ability, and skilled action.

Keywords:   Infinitival questions, modality, embedded questions, ability, skill

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