Epistemic Actions, Abilities and Knowing-How: A Non-Reductive Account

S.R.M. Miller*

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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The aim is to provide a synoptic view of the epistemic landscape in respect of epistemic actions, abilities and knowing how. The resulting view consists of the following propositions: (1) knowledge-by-acquaintance cannot be reduced to propositional knowledge or to knowing-how or some combination of these; the same point holds for propositional knowledge in relation to knowledge-by-acquaintance and knowing-how, and to knowing-how in relation to knowledge-by-acquaintance and propositional knowledge; (2) These categories of knowledge are, nevertheless, interdependent in a number of senses; (3) Abilities are not the same thing as know-how; (4) Epistemic actions need to be distinguished from behavioral actions; (5) Judgements are epistemic actions which, if successful, result in knowledge and, therefore, the sharp contrast drawn between, on the one hand, comings to believe and, in particular, judgments and, on the other hand, actions – with respect to being freely chosen – is not sustainable; (6) Judgements manifest both abilities and know-how.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-485
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Epistemology: a journal of knowledge, culture and policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Epistemic action
  • knowing-how
  • abilities
  • propositional knowledge
  • knowledge-by-acquaintance

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