• On tacit knowledge for philosophy of education

      Belas, Oliver (Springer, 2017-11-17)
      This article offers a detailed reading Gascoigne and Thornton’s book Tacit Knowledge (2013), which aims to account for the tacitness of tacit knowledge (TK) while preserving its status as knowledge proper. I take issue with their characterization and rejection of the existential-phenomenological Background—which they presuppose even as they dismiss—and their claim that TK can be articulated “from within”—which betrays a residual Cartesianism, the result of their elision of conceptuality and propositionality. Knowledgeable acts instantiate capacities which we might know we have and of which we can be aware, but which are not propositionally structured at their “core”. Nevertheless, propositionality is necessary to what Robert Brandom calls, in Making It Explicit (1994) and Articulating Reasons (2000), “explicitation”, which notion also presupposes a tacit dimension, which is, simply, the embodied person (the knower), without which no conception of knowledge can get any purchase. On my view, there is no knowledgeable act that can be understood as such separately from the notion of skilled corporeal performance. The account I offer cannot make sense of so-called “knowledge-based” education, as opposed to systems and styles which supposedly privilege “contentless” skills over and above “knowledge”, because on the phenomenological and inferentialist lines I endorse, neither the concepts “knowledge” nor “skill” has any purchase or meaning without the other.