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‘Skill’ has become another of undoubtedly key concepts used to cover so many different things that it is in danger of vacuity, that is, of having so many applications it means very little.

In itself, it indicates the accomplished application of a technique. A technique (from the Greek, tekne, which best translates as a craft) is a specialised, teachable method for the achievement of a specific purpose. It is subordinate to and an aspect of the deployment of a craft, which may be thought of as a coordinated battery of techniques. Thus, a skill is an accomplishment of a person directed to a purpose.

However, ‘skills’ have taken on a more recent range of meanings, according to which a skill is separated from individual human purposes. ...

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