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The goal of inquiry is to acquire knowledge of truths about the world. In this book, Jason Stanley argues that knowing how to do something amounts to knowing a truth about the world. When you learned how to swim, what happened is that you learned some truths about swimming. Knowledge of these truths is what gave you knowledge of how to swim. Something similar occurred with every other activity that you now know how to do, such as riding a bicycle or cooking a meal. Of course, when you learned how to swim, you didn't learn just any truth about swimming. You learned a special kind of truth about swimming, one that answers the question, "How could you swim?" Know How develops an account of the kinds of answers to questions, knowledge of which explains skilled action. Drawing on work in epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics, action theory, philosophy of language, linguistic semantics, and cognitive neuroscience, Stanley presents a powerful case that it is our success as inquirers that explains our capacity for skillful engagement with the world.
Jason Stanley is Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, member of the Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, and an Associate Faculty member of the Rutgers University Department of Linguistics. He is also a quarter-time Professorial Fellow at the University of St. Andrews. He has previously held positions at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and Cornell University. He was born in 1969 in Syracuse, New York.