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Knowing how, knowing that, knowing technology
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7778-2552
2015 (English)In: Philosophy & Technology, ISSN 2210-5433, E-ISSN 2210-5441, Vol. 28, no 4, 553-565 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A wide variety of skills, abilities and knowledge are used in technological activities such as engineering design. Together, they enable problem solving and artefact creation. Gilbert Ryle’s division of knowledge into knowing how and knowing that is often referred to when discussing this technological knowledge. Ryle’s view has been questioned and criticised by those who claim that there is only one type, for instance, Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson who claim that knowing how is really a form of knowing that and Stephen Hetherington who claims that knowing that isknowing how. Neither Ryle himself nor any of his critics have discussed technological knowledge. Exposing both Ryle’s and his critics’ ideas to technological knowledge show that there are strong reasons to keep the knowing how–knowing that dichotomy in technological contexts. The main reasons are that they are justified in different ways, that Stanley’s and Williamson’s ideas have great difficulties to account for learning of technological knowing how through training, and thatknowing that is susceptible to Gettier problems, which technological knowing how is not.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2015. Vol. 28, no 4, 553-565 p.
Keyword [en]
technological knowledge, epistemology of technology, knowing that, knowing how, Gettier problem
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-144615DOI: 10.1007/s13347-014-0178-3Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84945254261OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-144615DiVA: diva2:714432
Note

QC 20160222

Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Technological knowledge and technology education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Technological knowledge and technology education
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Technological knowledge is of many different kinds, from experience-based know-how in the crafts to science-based knowledge in modern engineering. It is inherently oriented towards being useful in technological activities, such as manufacturing and engineering design.

The purpose of this thesis is to highlight special characteristics of technological knowledge and how these affect how technology should be taught in school. It consists of an introduction, a summary in Swedish, and five papers:

Paper I is about rules of thumb, which are simple instructions, used to guide actions toward a specific result, without need of advanced knowledge. One off the major advantages of rules of thumb is the ease with which they can be learnt. One of their major disadvantages is that they cannot easily be adjusted to new situations or conditions.

Paper II describes how Gilbert Ryle's distinction between knowing how and knowing that is applicable in the technological domain. Knowing how and knowing that are commonly used together, but there are important differences between them which motivate why they should be regarded as different types: they are learnt in different ways, justified in different ways, and knowing that is susceptible to Gettier type problems which technological knowing how is not.

Paper III is based on a survey about how Swedish technology teachers understand the concept of technological knowledge. Their opinions show an extensive variation, and they have no common terminology for describing the knowledge.

Paper IV deals with non-scientific models that are commonly used by engineers, based on for example folk theories or obsolete science. These should be included in technology education if it is to resemble real technology. Different, and partly contradictory, epistemological frameworks must be used in different school subjects. This leads to major pedagogical challenges, but also to opportunities to clarify the differences between technology and the natural sciences and between models and reality.

Paper V is about explanation, prediction, and the use of models in technology education. Explanations and models in technology differ from those in the natural sciences in that they have to include users' actions and intentions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2014. vi, 52 p.
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831 ; 48
Keyword
philosophy of technology, epistemology of technology, technology education, technological knowledge, rule of thumb, explanation
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-144875 (URN)978-91-7595-078-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-03, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20140512

Available from: 2014-05-12 Created: 2014-04-30 Last updated: 2014-05-12Bibliographically approved

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Norström, Per

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