Gilbert Ryle and the Ethical Impetus for Know-How

  • Matt Dougherty University of Cambridge


This paper aims to shed light on an underexplored aspect of Gilbert Ryle’s interest in the notion of “knowing-how”. It is argued that in addition to his motive of discounting a certain theory of mind, his interest in the notion also stemmed (and perhaps stemmed more deeply) from two ethical interests: one concerning his own life as a philosopher and whether the philosopher has any meaningful task, and one concerning the ancient issue of whether virtue is a kind of knowledge. It is argued that Ryle saw know-how as crucial in both respects and, also, that he continued to be interested in these ethical issues throughout his career.


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