Knowing how, knowing that, and knowing what

4 December 2017

This post is based on the chapter:

Hintikka J. (1991) Plato on knowing how, knowing that, and knowing what. In: Knowledge and the known. The new synthese historical library (Texts and studies in the history of philosophy), vol 11. Springer, Dordrecht

Episteme, for the Greeks, “meant something not quite identical to our ‘knowledge’ …. episteme could mean both knowledge and skill, know that and knowing how.” (p. 31). In this way it is close to the work techne that did mean ‘skill’. In the verbal form, epistamai it means “knowing how to do something” (p. 31).

Episteme did not exclude practical skill. However, not any human ability, not any manual dexterity could be called episteme. Many of them were referred to by the much less honorific title of empeirira“ (p. 35).