Conversational realities – from within persons to within relationships
What we need, I want to claim, is not knowledge in the form of theoretical representations, but of a very different, much more practical kind. My concern today, then, is with the conditions, the relations between us, that might make possible a more dialogical and involved, less monological and distanced, stance toward our construction of knowledge. Thus, a part of what I want to explore, is talk of a very different kind to theoretical talk, talk to do with a very different kind of knowing: that which ‘floats’ around in an uncertain way within the everyday conversational background to our more institutional and disciplinary lives, on the boundaries of, or one in between, our separate disciplines and orderly discourses. It is a special kind of knowing that – although it has been more properly recognized and identified in the past – has in more recent times been forgotten. I shall call it a knowing of the third kind. For: i) It is not theoretical knowledge (a “knowing-that” in Ryle’s terminology) – for it is knowledge that is only present to us in our everyday social practices; however, ii) it is not simply a technical knowledge of a skill or craft (a “knowing-how“) either – for it is a joint kind of knowledge, a knowledge-held-in-common with others, and judged by them in the process of its use. iii) It is its own kind of knowledge, sui generis, that cannot be reduced to either of the other two.