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Tacit and Explicit Knowledge

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  48 ratings  ·  2 reviews

Much of what humans know we cannot say. And much of what we do we cannot describe. For example, how do we know how to ride a bike when we can’t explain how we do it? Abilities like this were called “tacit knowledge” by physical chemist and philosopher Michael Polanyi, but here Harry Collins analyzes the term, and the behavior, in much greater detail, often departing from P

Hardcover, 200 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by University of Chicago Press
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Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hilarious, if you read it closely. This guy, though, needs to read more linguistics theory. We are way ahead of him, I think.

Good food for thought. Oddly, when I got to the last chapter, I was almost crying. Reminds me of Lewis Thomas's essay analogizing ant-hill building and human languaging.
Theresa Macphail
I love Harry Collins for the effort he puts into being as scientific about his terms and their interrelationship as possible. That being said, this example felt like overkill (i.e. a tad pedantic). Still, if you want to know more about how we know what we know - and you're looking for a creative extension of Polanyi's text - then this is a must.
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22 likes · 2 comments
“A lot of it is a matter of stating the obvious-but stating the obvious is not always easy when one begins with a confused domain.” 0 likes
“The mistake is to believe that understanding human experience is the route to understanding knowledge. Rather, to understand human experience one must start by trying to understand all the things that might count as knowledge and then work out how humans might use them. The growth of automation has provided new problems and more demanding questions about what knowledge might be even though it remains the case that, in the last resort, humans are the only knowers.” 0 likes
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