chapter  5
34 Pages

Second natures

Drawing on two clues from Michael Polanyi – that “we can know more than we can tell” and that knowledge is an “active comprehension of things known, an action that requires skill” – and on arguments for the priority of practical knowledge from Ryle and Heidegger, we have argued for a conception of tacit knowledge as a context-dependent, conceptually structured form of personal or practical knowledge. In Chapter 2, we attempted to draw the sting of a recent “intellectualist” backlash by accepting that, like knowledge-that, practical knowledge has a content even as we defended the (Rylean) argument supporting its priority. is gives rise to a conception of tacit knowledge that deserves the label “knowledge” because of its content and “tacit” because it runs counter to what we called the principle of codifi ability:

PC All knowledge can be fully articulated, or codifi ed, in contextindependent terms.