Introduction: Tacit Knowledge: Between Habit and Presupposition

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Harry Collins is a science studies scholar no other description fits without qualification who has contributed enormously to the discussion of tacit knowledge. Collins says that he is providing an account for the ontologically bashful, meaning, presumably, that it does not carry the burdens of Durkheim's notion of the collective consciousness. Polanyi says that 'a wholly explicit knowledge is unthinkable'. Collins wants to translate this into 'strings must be interpreted before they are meaningful'. Somatic limits are the source of the mystery element of tacit knowledge. In fact, machines can be programmed to do the things it involves, although they will do it in a different way. In Social Cartesianism, the individual is not the unit of analysis: the individual merely shares the collectivity's knowledge. Collins point in these contexts is that functional substitutability implies nothing about similarity in underlying causal structure.

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Introduction: Tacit Knowledge: Between Habit and Presupposition, in S. P. Turner (Ed.), Understanding the Tacit, Routledge, p. 1-16