Three levels of naturalistic knowledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


A recent naturalistic epistemological account suggests that there are three nested basic forms of knowledge: procedural knowledge-how, conceptual knowledge-what, and propositional knowledge-that. These three knowledge-forms are grounded in cognitive neuroscience and are mapped to procedural, semantic, and episodic long-term memory respectively. This article investigates and integrates the neuroscientifically grounded account with knowledge-accounts from cognitive ethology and cognitive psychology. It is found that procedural and semantic memory, on a neuroscientific level of analysis, matches an ethological reliabilist account. This formation also matches System 1 from dual process theory on a psychological level, whereas the addition of episodic memory, on the neuroscientific level of analysis, can account for System 2 on the psychological level. It is furthermore argued that semantic memory (conceptual knowledge-what) and the cognitive ability of categorization are linked to each other, and that they can be fruitfully modeled within a conceptual spaces framework.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Philosophy
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConceptual Spaces: Elaborations and Applications
EditorsMauri Kaipainen, Frank Zenker, Antti Hautamäki, Peter Gärdenfors
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-12800-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-12799-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameSynthese Library
ISSN (Print)0166-6991
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8292

Total downloads

No data available

Related projects

Andreas Stephens, Trond Arild Tjøstheim, Maximilian Roszko, Erik J Olsson, Andrey Anikin & Theoretical Philosophy, University of Zurich Arthur Schwaninger

2018/11/01 → …

Project: Network

Andreas Stephens, Martin Jönsson & Erik J Olsson

2018/09/03 → …

Project: Dissertation

View all (2)