Chomsky, Cognizing, and Tacit Knowledge

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The chapter presents, after Chomsky, the prevailing conception of our ‘knowledge of language’ that is the target of explanation of generative linguistics. The chapter details how, since its inception, the knowledge at issue is construed in a thin sense, more of a specification of the kind of phenomena at issue rather than a presupposition about the kind of states that explain linguistic behaviour. In particular, the conception does not fit with either a ‘know that’ or ‘know how’ construal, as if linguistics posits tacit propositional knowledge or structures essentially involved in linguistic actions. That this conception was operative will be made clear via discussion of the famous ‘competence/performance’ distinction. More recent considerations will also be brought to bear on the issue, where an explicit understanding of the kind of the conception advertised is articulated as a way of making clear what was implicit from the beginning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Implicit Cognition
EditorsJ. Robert Thompson
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781003014584
ISBN (Print)9780367857189
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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