[SydPhil] Karyn Lai @ UNSW Philosophy Seminar - 16 September - 12:30-2:00 - MB310

Melissa Merritt m.merritt at unsw.edu.au
Mon Sep 8 10:14:46 AEST 2014

UNSW Philosophy Seminar
16 September 2014
Morven Brown Bldg 310
light lunch served

Karyn Lai (UNSW)
"Knowing how and doing well"

Abstract: Simply to say that a student knows how to write philosophy essays does not reveal much about the student’s level of competence in writing philosophy essays.  Ryle himself distinguished between novices and experts, in the way they each ‘know how’.  Writing well—and all other activities for which expertise is important—requires training and practice.  This paper discusses Confucian reflections on practice as a prerequisite for higher levels of competence.  For the Confucians, the learner’s personal encounters in practice are central to the learning process and, ultimately, to the cultivation of reliability in performance.  I draw on some Confucian epistemological assumptions to challenge the knowing-how/knowing-that distinction in Ryle’s earlier work, as well as certain conceptions of knowing-how and its relation to performance.

Karyn Lai is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales.  Her primary research area is in early (pre-Qin) Confucian and Daoist philosophies. Her books include Learning from Chinese Philosophies (Ashgate, 2006) and Introduction to Chinese Philosophy (Cambridge, 2008). Her work is often of a comparative nature, drawing insights from Chinese philosophies to address issues in a number of philosophical areas including moral philosophy, environmental ethics, reasoning and argumentation and epistemology.

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