Harry Collins

When I say that one must start by thinking about all the things that might count as knowledge, I do not mean to claim that anything like classical epistemology is being pursued. First, for the sociologist of knowledge, or the Wittgensteinian philosopher, there is no classical epistemology—knowledge cannot be found in the absence of the activities of humans. The point is that we must start with an attempt to think about knowledge in a way that goes beyond human experience if we are to understand that experience properly. The starting point is to think of knowledge as “stuff” that might also be found in animals, trees, and sieves and then try to work out from this starting point what it is that humans have. Human experience alone is too blunt an instrument for the task.

2 thoughts on “Harry Collins

  1. shinichi Post author

    Though the tension between tacit and explicit goes back at least as far as the Greeks, it was modernism in general and the computer revolution in particular that made the explicit seem easy and the tacit seen obscure. But nearly the entire history of the universe, and that includes the parts played by animals and the first humans, consists of things going along quite nicely without anyone telling anything to anything or anyone. There is, then, nothing strange about things being done but not being told – it is normal life.

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