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Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 629–643 | Cite as

Language and know-how

  • David Simpson
Article

Abstract

I address the assumption that communicative interaction is made possible by knowledge of a language. I argue that this assumption as it is usually expressed depends on an unjustified reification of language, and on an unsatisfactory understanding of ‘knowledge’. I propose instead that communicative interaction is made possible by (Rylean) know-how and by the development of (Davidsonian) passing theories. We then come to see that our focus ought to be, not on propositional knowledge of a language which we internally represent, but on the practical application of know-how in our understanding and interpretation of others.

Keywords

Ryle Davidson Dummett Williamson Knowledge of language Communicative interaction Philosophy of language 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WollongongWollongongAustralia

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