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Joint know-how

Birch, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0001-7517-4759 (2019) Joint know-how. Philosophical Studies, 176 (12). 3329 - 3352. ISSN 0031-8116

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11098-018-1176-6


When two agents engage in a joint action, such as rowing together, they exercise joint know-how. But what is the relationship between the joint know-how of the two agents and the know-how each agent possesses individually? I construct an “active mutual enablement” (AME) account of this relationship, according to which joint know-how arises when each agent knows how to predict, monitor, and make failure-averting adjustments in response to the behaviour of the other agent, while actively enabling the other to make such adjustments. I defend the AME account from three objections, and I then use this account as the platform for an examination of the reducibility (or otherwise) of joint know-how to joint propositional knowledge. A summative account of joint propositional knowledge is incompatible with the reduction of joint know-how to joint propositional knowledge, whereas a distributive account is not (although serious difficulties for any such reduction remain). I close by highlighting some open questions the AME account brings into view concerning the evolutionary origin and scaling up of joint know-how.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2018 09:12
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2024 04:27

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