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Tacit Knowledge, Working Life and Scientific Method

  • Allan Janik
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 114)

Abstract

What is tacit knowledge? What role does it play in working life? What does this imply for our understanding, say, of the implications of new technology such as Expert Systems for working life? What do philosophers of science have to learn from working life studies? These have been the principle issues which preoccupied me in the course of my stay at Arbetslivscentrum. In what follows I propose to answer these questions, at least in a preliminary way, with a view to elucidating the perspective of the project “Utbildning-Arbete-Teknik” with which I have been associated. This amounts to clarifying a number of issues about which there is a good deal of confusion relating to the crucial notion of tacit knowledge, the ways in which theory of knowledge (a term I much dislike but employ for want of a better one) can clarify our understanding of working life, as well as the role working life studies can play in the development of the theory of knowledge. It is, then, at once a compilation of the ideas which have been most central to my work in the Center as well as a statement of what I take back to the academic world from my experiences at the Center. It is hardly intended to be comprehensive; rather it is a sketch of what I, as a philosopher, take to be the most challenging and exciting notions that I have encountered confronting the “real world” of work.

Keywords

Tacit Knowledge Industrial Democracy Aesthetic Sensibility Weather Forecaster Western Philosophical Tradition 
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.

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Notes

  1. 1.
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  2. 2.
    Alvin Feinstein, “Critical Judgment and Basic Science”, a lecture to the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy and History of Science, Nov. 4, 1969 (unpublished).Google Scholar
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  6. 6.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophische Untersuchungen, I, §610; I, §78.Google Scholar
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    Peter Strawson, Einzelding und logisches Subjekt (Stuttgart, 1972), p. 82ff.Google Scholar
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  9. 9.
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  12. 13.
    Maja-Lisa Perby, “Computerization and Skill in Local Weather Forecasting” (Stockholm, unpublished).Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    IBM’s claim “get three years experience in one week” is a good example. I owe it to Bo Göranzon.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Gullers, op. cit., VIII, p. 37.Google Scholar
  15. 16.
    Karl Marx, “Critique of the Gotha Program”, Marx & Engels: Basic Writings on Politics and Philosophy, ed L. Feuer (Garden City, 1959), p. 119.Google Scholar
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    Plato, Apology, 22c-d.Google Scholar
  18. 19.
    See Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum novarum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allan Janik
    • 1
  1. 1.Brenner ArchiveInnsbruck UniversityAustria

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