Does Procedural/Non-propositional Belief Exist?


In the SEP article on knowledge-how, procedural knowledge is said to be "the knowledge that is manifested in the performance of a skill", whereas declarative/propositional knowledge is "explicit—consciously representable".

Does this mean that procedural knowledge does not function on the JTB model, and consequently something such as procedural belief does not exist? If, however, procedural belief exists, what is it? Would the following example possibly be procedural belief?

Suppose Person A is said to "know how to ride a bike" and they then attempt to ride a bike for X metres, could/would a procedural belief be defined as their perception of the system (Person A (themselves) on a bike on the ground) at a particular point of time, and a following sufficient stabilising response to said system? For example, if Person A has ridden 2 metres, but begins to lean too much to the right, they would procedurally believe that they are leaning to the right, and so engage stabilising mechanisms (i.e shifting weight to left) in order to maintain balance. Thus one is said to "know how to ride a bike" if this is sufficient (successful). However, if they believe that they are leaning too much to the right, and engage stabilising mechanisms, that although self-perceived as sufficient, are not sufficient they fall to the ground. Thus they do not "know how to ride a bike". In the former case they would hold a true procedural belief, and in the latter, they would hold a false procedural belief.

TomDot Com

Posted 2020-10-11T04:21:07.963

Reputation: 157

1What you describe are not "procedural beliefs", they are ordinary beliefs ascribed by rationalization after the fact. They may hold such beliefs, and even consciously act on propositional knowledge of rules like "lean to the right - engage stabilizers", but the skill is in applying those rules, not in the rules themselves. Knowledge how is not propositional, and does not involve propositional attitudes like believing. – Conifold – 2020-10-11T21:36:11.520

No answers