Knowledge How, Procedural Knowledge, and the Type-Token Action Clause

  • Garry YoungEmail author


This paper argues that the propositions “S knowing how to Φ entails that S has the ability to Φ” and “S knowing how to Φ does not entail the ability to Φ” can both be true and non-contradictory when true, so long as one distinguishes between Φ as an action-type and Φ as an action-token. In order to defend this claim, recent work by Young (on the type-token action clause), Levy (on knowledge how and motor representations), and Gaultier (on procedural knowledge) is discussed with a view to integrating into a coherent and novel position certain commonalities within their respective views. As a consequence of this integration, a revised version of Young’s type-token action clause is suggested that provides comprehensive support for the assertion that knowing how to Φ both does and does not necessitate the ability to Φ, depending on whether one is talking about action types or action tokens.


Intellectualism Anti-intellectualism Intelligent action Action-type Action-token Motor image Proprioception 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Historical and Philosophical StudiesUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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