Declarative and procedural knowledge

Cognitive scientists define two sorts of knowledge, declarative and procedural, according to Arthur I. Miller, Insights of Genius: Imagery and Creativity in Science and Art (Springer-Verlag 1996) at 271. Declarative knowledge refers to static, fact-like representations that serve as innate structures and can be propositional or imagistic. An in-house lawyer who knows that Paragraph 14(a)(3) of a contract governs choice of law questions exhibits declarative knowledge. .

Declarative knowledge is about facts and things; it is operated on by processes, which is the domain of procedural knowledge. How to give notice to the other party under the contract would be in our example a counterpart procedural piece of knowledge. The distinction between declarative and procedural knowledge is akin to the difference between knowing a fact and knowing how to do something. Knowledge management efforts and training in law departments should appreciate the difference.

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