The Traditional Account of Knowledge

  • Kevin McCain
Part of the Springer Undergraduate Texts in Philosophy book series (SUTP)


This chapter introduces the traditional account of knowledge. First, three main kinds of knowledge are distinguished: acquaintance knowledge, knowledge-how, and propositional knowledge. The nature of each of these kinds of knowledge and their differences from one another are illuminated. It is also made clear that scientific knowledge is best understood as a particular variety of propositional knowledge. After clarifying the differences between these kinds of knowledge the chapter turns to a brief examination of the traditional account of propositional knowledge. This traditional account holds that in order for one to have knowledge of a particular proposition three conditions must be satisfied: the proposition must be true, one must believe the proposition, and one must have justification for believing the proposition. The discussion of the traditional account of knowledge in this chapter sets the stage for the more in-depth examination of the general features of knowledge that is the focus of the remaining chapters in this section of the book.


Traditional Account Propositional Knowledge Conversational Knowledge Briefly Examine Winning Numbers 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Adams, M. P. (2009). Empirical evidence and the knowledge-that/knowledge-how distinction. Synthese, 170, 97–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Armstrong, D. M. (1969). Does knowledge entail belief? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 70, 21–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Devitt, M. (2011). Methodology and the nature of know how. Journal of Philosophy, 108, 205–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lehrer, K. (1974). Knowledge. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  5. Lewis, D. (1990). What experience teaches. In W. Lycan (Ed.), Mind and cognition (pp. 29–57). Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  6. Lewis, D. (1996). Elusive knowledge. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 74, 549–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Poston, T. (2009). Know-how to be Gettiered? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 79, 743–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Radford, C. (1990). Belief, acceptance, and knowledge. Mind, 99, 609–617.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Rose, D., & Schaffer, J. (2013). Knowledge entails dispositional belief. Philosophical Studies, 166, 19–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ryle, G. (1949). The concept of mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. Schacter, D. L., Wagner, A. D., & Buckner, R. L. (2000). Memory systems of 1999. In E. Tulving & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of memory (pp. 627–643). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Squire, L. R. (1987). Memory and brain. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Stanley, J. (2011). Know how. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Stanley, J., & Williamson, T. (2001). Knowing how. Journal of Philosophy, 98, 411–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin McCain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

Personalised recommendations