, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 489–503 | Cite as

Regress Argument Reconstruction

  • Jan Willem Wieland


If an argument can be reconstructed in at least two different ways, then which reconstruction is to be preferred? In this paper I address this problem of argument reconstruction in terms of Ryle’s infinite regress argument against the view that knowledge-how requires knowledge-that. First, I demonstrate that Ryle’s initial statement of the argument does not fix its reconstruction as it admits two, structurally different reconstructions. On the basis of this case and infinite regress arguments generally, I defend a revisionary take on argument reconstruction: argument reconstruction is mainly to be ruled by charity (viz. by general criteria which arguments have to fulfil in order to be good arguments) rather than interpretation.


Infinite regress Argument Reconstruction Charity Interpretation 



Thanks to Anna-Sofia Maurin, Eline Scheerlinck, Maarten Van Dyck, Erik Weber and the reviewer of the journal for excellent advice. The author is PhD fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Logic & Philosophy of ScienceGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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