Tacit Knowledge

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A Tacit Knowledge is a knowledge item that a cognitive agent cannot (easily) articulate with an analytic definition.



  • (Wikipedia, 2023) ⇒ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/tacit_knowledge Retrieved:2023-6-21.
    • Tacit knowledge or implicit knowledge—as opposed to formal, codified or explicit knowledge—is knowledge that is difficult to express or extract, and thus more difficult to transfer to others by means of writing it down or verbalizing it. This can include personal wisdom, experience, insight, and intuition.

      For example, knowing that London is in the United Kingdom is a piece of explicit knowledge; it can be written down, transmitted, and understood by a recipient. In contrast, the ability to speak a language, ride a bicycle, knead dough, play a musical instrument, or design and use complex equipment requires all sorts of knowledge which is not always known explicitly, even by expert practitioners, and which is difficult or impossible to explicitly transfer to other people.


  • (Wikipedia, 2016) ⇒ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/intuition Retrieved:2016-1-17.
    • Intuition, a phenomenon of the mind, describes the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. The word "intuition" comes from Latin verb intueri translated as consider or from late middle English word intuit, "to contemplate". Intuition is often interpreted with varied meaning from intuition being glimpses of greater knowledge to only a function of mind; however, processes by which and why they happen typically remain mostly unknown to the thinker, as opposed to the view of rational thinking.

      Intuition has been subject of discussion from ancient philosophy to modern psychology, also a topic of interest in various religions and esoteric domains, as well as a common subject of writings and is often misunderstood and misinterpreted as instinct, truth, belief, meaning and other subjects. The right brain is popularly associated with intuitive processes such as aesthetic or generally creative abilities. Some scientists have contended that intuition is associated with innovation in scientific discovery. [1] Intuition Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named in appreciation of the role of scientific intuition for the advancement of human knowledge.

  1. Gerald Holton, Yehuda Elkana. Albert Einstein: Historical and Cultural Perspectives, Dover Publications, July 1997, p. 97. ISBN 0-486-29879-5 "The workings of intuition transcend those of the intellect, and as is well known, innovation is often a triumph of intuition over logic."



  • http://philosophy.uwaterloo.ca/MindDict/tacitknowledge.html
    • QUOTE: Although the expression “tacit knowledge” appears to have been introduced by Michael Polanyi (1958/1974), the idea that certain cognitive processes and/or behaviors are undergirded by operations inaccessible to consciousness -- by a cognitive unconscious, as Reber (1995) calls it -- goes back at least as far as Helmholtz's work in the 19th century (Reber 1995, p. 15). A more recent and influential formulation of this basic idea can be found in Lashley (1956).

      Varieties of Tacit Knowledge The distinction between tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge has sometimes been expressed in terms of knowing-how and knowing-that, respectively (Ryle 1949/1984, pp. 25-61), or in terms of a corresponding distinction between embodied knowledge and theoretical knowledge. On this account knowing-how or embodied knowledge is characteristic of the expert, who acts, makes judgments, and so forth without explicitly reflecting on the principles or rules involved. The expert works without having a theory of his or her work; he or she just performs skillfully without deliberation or focused attention. Knowing-that, by contrast, involves consciously accessible knowledge that can be articulated and is characteristic of the person learning a skill through explicit instruction, recitation of rules, attention to his or her movements, etc. While such declarative knowledge may be needed for the acquisition of skills, the argument goes, it no longer becomes necessary for the practice of those skills once the novice becomes an expert in exercising them, and indeed it does seem to be the case that, as Polanyi argued, when we acquire a skill, we acquire a corresponding understanding that defies articulation (Polanyi 1958/1974).






  • (Polanyi, 1966a) ⇒ Michael Polanyi. (1966). “The Tacit Dimension." Doubleday & Co.
    • QUOTE: ... Another variant of this phenomenon was demonstrated by Eriksen and Kuethe in 1958.[1] They exposed a person to a show whenever he happened to utter associations to certain "shock words." Presently, the person learned to forestall the shock by avoiding the utternace of such associations, but, on questining it appeared that he did not know he was doing this. Here the subject got to know a practical operation, but could not tell how he worked it. This kind of subception has the structure of a skill, for a skill combines elementary muscular acts which are not identifiable, according to relations that we cannot define.

      These experiments show most clearly what is meant by saying that one can know more than we can tell. This is prevented here by the division of roles between the subject and the observer. The experimenter observes that another person has a certain knowledge that he cannot tell, and so no one speaks of a knowledge he himself has and cannot tell. ...

  • (C. W. Eriksen, and J. L. Kuethe. (1956). “Avoidance Conditionoing of Verbal Behavior Without Awareness."
  • 1958

    • (Polanyi, 1966) ⇒ Michael Polanyi. (1958). “Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy." Chicago, University of Chicago Press.