chapter  8
Knowing how and validity
Pages 10

The knowing how-knowing that dichotomy is used by Professor Ryle to obviate the fallacy that all intelligent performances entail that the agent contemplates, considers or in any other episodic sense knows some proposition. There is however an alternative mistake, which is suggested and not guarded against by Ryle’s treatment. This is a mistake of treating knowing how as a type of validation, as a legitimate answer to ‘How do we know?’ questions. I do not know whether in fact Ryle himself commits this mistake. The Presidential Address to the Aristotelian Society, 1945, gives the impression that he does; the relevant chapter in The Concept of Mind does not. What I shall say is consequently only fair with regard to the earlier work. My reason for saying it nevertheless is that The Concept of Mind, whilst not repeating the mistake does not give any explicit warning against it either, and the mistake made by Ryle in the first, 1945, formulation is likely to be repeated by some at any rate of those who accept his main point. There seems to be already at least one instance of this happening in print, this being Mr Toulmin’s article in ‘Defence of “Synthetic Necessary Truth”’.1