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Understanding

In D. Pritchard S. Berneker (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge (2011)

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  1. On Understanding and Testimony.Federica Isabella Malfatti - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1345-1365.
    Testimony spreads information. It is also commonly agreed that it can transfer knowledge. Whether it can work as an epistemic source of understanding is a matter of dispute. However, testimony certainly plays a pivotal role in the proliferation of understanding in the epistemic community. But how exactly do we learn, and how do we make advancements in understanding on the basis of one another’s words? And what can we do to maximize the probability that the process of acquiring understanding from (...)
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  • The Mark of Understanding: In Defense of an Ability Account.Sven Delarivière & Bart Van Kerkhove - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (5):619-648.
    Understanding is a valued trait in any epistemic practice, scientific or not. Yet, when it comes to characterizing its nature, the notion has not received the philosophical attention it deserves. We have set ourselves three tasks in this paper. First, we defend the importance of this endeavor. Second, we consider and criticize a number of proposals to this effect. Third, we defend an alternative account, focusing on abilities as the proper mark of understanding.
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  • Non-Tethered Understanding and Scientific Pluralism.Rico Hauswald - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (3):371-388.
    I examine situations in which we say that different subjects have ‘different’, ‘competing’, or ‘conflicting understandings’ of a phenomenon. In order to make sense of such situations, we should turn our attention to an often neglected ambiguity in the word ‘understanding’. Whereas the notion of understanding that is typically discussed in philosophy is, to use Elgin’s terms, tethered to the facts, there is another notion of understanding that is not tethered in the same way. This latter notion is relevant because, (...)
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  • Understanding a communicated thought.J. Adam Carter, Emma C. Gordon & J. P. Grodniewicz - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):12137-12151.
    The goal of this paper is twofold. First, we argue that the understanding one has of a proposition or a propositional content of a representational vehicle is a species of what contemporary epistemologists characterise as objectual understanding. Second, we demonstrate that even though this type of understanding differs from linguistic understanding, in many instances of successful communication, these two types of understanding jointly contribute to understanding a communicated thought.
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  • A Hybrid Account of Scientific Progress: Finding Middle Ground Between the Epistemic and the Noetic Accounts.Clara Goebel - 2019 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):1-16.
    Whereas the progressive nature of science is widely recognised, specifying the standards of scientific progress has been subject to philosophical debate since the enlightenment. Recently, Ilkka Niiniluoto, Alexander Bird, and Finnur Dellsén have revived this debate by setting forward a semantic, epistemic and noetic account of scientific progress respectively. I argue that none of these accounts is satisfactory. The semantic and epistemic accounts might advance necessary conditions for scientific progress, namely an accumulation of true, justified, and non-Gettiered beliefs, but fail (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Understanding. A Contextualist Approach.Marcus Bachmann - 2020 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 34 (1):75-98.
    This paper aims to provide a unifying approach to the analysis of understanding coherencies (interrogative understanding, e.g. understanding why something is the case) and understanding subject matters (objectual understanding) by highlighting the contextualist nature of understanding. Inspired by the relevant alternatives contextualism about knowledge, I will argue that understanding (in the above mentioned sense) inherently has context-sensitive features and that a theory of understanding that highlights those features can incorporate our intuitions towards understanding as well as consolidate the different accounts (...)
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  • The Missing G.Erez Firt - 2020 - AI and Society 35 (4):995-1007.
    Artificial general intelligence is not a new notion, but it has certainly been gaining traction in recent years, and academic as well as industry resources are redirected to research in AGI. The main reason for this is that current AI techniques are limited as they are designed to operate in specific problem-domains, following meticulous preparation. These systems cannot operate in an unknown environment or under conditions of uncertainty, reuse knowledge gained in another problem domain, or autonomously learn and understand the (...)
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  • Properties in sight and in thought.Ivan V. Ivanov - 2019 - Synthese 198 (8):7049-7071.
    The main focus of acquaintance theorists has been the nature and mechanism of perceptual acquaintance with particulars. Generally, one’s view of perceptual acquaintance with general features has taken its bearings from one’s view of perceptual acquaintance with particulars. This has led to the glossing over of significant differences in the mechanisms of perceptual acquaintance with particulars and with general features. The difference in mechanisms suggests a difference in the sort of epistemic state at play in the two kinds of cases. (...)
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  • Scientific Understanding and Felicitous Legitimate Falsehoods.Insa Lawler - 2021 - Synthese 198 (7):6859-6887.
    Science is replete with falsehoods that epistemically facilitate understanding by virtue of being the very falsehoods they are. In view of this puzzling fact, some have relaxed the truth requirement on understanding. I offer a factive view of understanding that fully accommodates the puzzling fact in four steps: (i) I argue that the question how these falsehoods are related to the phenomenon to be understood and the question how they figure into the content of understanding it are independent. (ii) I (...)
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  • Epistemic Emotions and the Value of Truth.Laura Candiotto - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (4):563-577.
    In this paper, I discuss the intrinsic value of truth from the perspective of the emotion studies in virtue epistemology. The strategy is the one that looks at epistemic emotions as driving forces towards truth as the most valuable epistemic good. But in doing so, a puzzle arises: how can the value of truth be intrinsic and instrumental? My answer lies in the difference established by Duncan Pritchard between epistemic value and the value of the epistemic applied to the case (...)
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  • In What Sense is Understanding an Intellectual Virtue?Xingming Hu - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5883-5895.
    In this paper, I distinguish between two senses of “understanding”: understanding as an epistemic good and understanding as a character trait or a distinctive power of the mind. I argue that understanding as a character trait or a distinctive power of the mind is an intellectual virtue while understanding as an epistemic good is not. Finally, I show how the distinction can help us better appreciate Aristotle’s account of intellectual virtue.
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  • The Pragmatic Turn in Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI).Andrés Páez - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (3):441-459.
    In this paper I argue that the search for explainable models and interpretable decisions in AI must be reformulated in terms of the broader project of offering a pragmatic and naturalistic account of understanding in AI. Intuitively, the purpose of providing an explanation of a model or a decision is to make it understandable to its stakeholders. But without a previous grasp of what it means to say that an agent understands a model or a decision, the explanatory strategies will (...)
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  • Sosa Versus Kornblith on Grades of Knowledge.J. Adam Carter & Robin McKenna - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In a series of works Ernest Sosa (see Sosa 1991, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017) has defended the view that there are two kinds or ‘grades’ of knowledge, animal and reflective. One of the most persistent critics of Sosa’s attempts to bifurcate knowledge is Hilary Kornblith (see Kornblith 2004, 2009, 2012). Our aim in this paper is to outline and evaluate Kornblith’s criticisms. We will argue that, while they raise a range of difficult (exegetical and substantive) questions about Sosa’s (...)
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  • Belief, Knowledge and Understanding.Frederik Moreira-dos-Santos & Charbel N. El-Hani - 2017 - Science & Education 26 (3-4):215-245.
    This article discusses how to deal with the relations between different cultural perspectives in classrooms, based on a proposal for considering understanding and knowledge as goals of science education, inspired by Dewey’s naturalistic humanism. It thus combines educational and philosophical interests. In educational terms, our concerns relate to how science teachers position themselves in multicultural classrooms. In philosophical terms, we are interested in discussing the relations between belief, understanding, and knowledge under the light of Dewey’s philosophy. We present a synthesis (...)
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  • Explanation and the Nature of Scientific Knowledge.Kevin McCain - 2015 - Science & Education 24 (7-8):827-854.
    Explaining phenomena is a primary goal of science. Consequently, it is unsurprising that gaining a proper understanding of the nature of explanation is an important goal of science education. In order to properly understand explanation, however, it is not enough to simply consider theories of the nature of explanation. Properly understanding explanation requires grasping the relation between explanation and understanding, as well as how explanations can lead to scientific knowledge. This article examines the nature of explanation, its relation to understanding, (...)
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  • Understanding Why, Knowing Why, and Cognitive Achievements.Insa Lawler - 2018 - Synthese (11):4583-4603.
    Duncan Pritchard argues that a feature that sets understanding-why apart from knowledge-why is that whereas (I) understanding-why is a kind of cognitive achievement in a strong sense, (II) knowledge-why is not such a kind. I argue that (I) is false and that (II) is true. (I) is false because understanding-why featuring rudimentary explanations and understanding-why concerning very simple causal connections are not cognitive achievements in a strong sense. Knowledge-why is not a kind of cognitive achievement in a strong sense for (...)
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  • Knowledge, Practical Interests, and Rising Tides.Stephen R. Grimm - 2015 - In John Greco & David Henderson (eds.), Epistemic Evaluation: Purposeful Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    Defenders of pragmatic encroachment in epistemology (or what I call practicalism) need to address two main problems. First, the view seems to imply, absurdly, that knowledge can come and go quite easily—in particular, that it might come and go along with our variable practical interests. We can call this the stability problem. Second, there seems to be no fully satisfying way of explaining whose practical interests matter. We can call this the “whose stakes?” problem. I argue that both problems can (...)
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  • Deductive Cogency, Understanding, and Acceptance.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3121-3141.
    Deductive Cogency holds that the set of propositions towards which one has, or is prepared to have, a given type of propositional attitude should be consistent and closed under logical consequence. While there are many propositional attitudes that are not subject to this requirement, e.g. hoping and imagining, it is at least prima facie plausible that Deductive Cogency applies to the doxastic attitude involved in propositional knowledge, viz. belief. However, this thought is undermined by the well-known preface paradox, leading a (...)
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  • A New Maneuver Against the Epistemic Relativist.J. Adam Carter & Emma C. Gordon - 2014 - Synthese 191 (8).
    Epistemic relativists often appeal to an epistemic incommensurability thesis. One notable example is the position advanced by Wittgenstein in On certainty (1969). However, Ian Hacking’s radical denial of the possibility of objective epistemic reasons for belief poses, we suggest, an even more forceful challenge to mainstream meta-epistemology. Our central objective will be to develop a novel strategy for defusing Hacking’s line of argument. Specifically, we show that the epistemic incommensurability thesis can be resisted even if we grant the very insights (...)
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  • Is Knowledge of Causes Sufficient for Understanding?Xingming Hu - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):291-313.
    ABSTRACT: According to a traditional account, understanding why X occurred is equivalent to knowing that X was caused by Y. This paper defends the account against a major objection, viz., knowing-that is not sufficient for understanding-why, for understanding-why requires a kind of grasp while knowledge-that does not. I discuss two accounts of grasp in recent literature and argue that if either is true, then knowing that X was caused by Y entails at least a rudimentary understanding of why X occurred. (...)
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  • A Noetic Theory of Understanding and Intuition as Sense-Maker.John Bengson - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (7-8):633-668.
    The notion of a non-sensory mental state or event that plays a prominent role in coming to understand, an epistemic achievement distinct from mere knowledge, featured prominently in historical writings on philosophy, and philosophical methodology. It is, however, completely absent from contemporary discussions of the subject. This paper argues that intuition plays an epistemic role in understanding, including philosophical understanding, and offers an explanation of how intuition manages to play this role, if and when it does. It is argued, subsequently, (...)
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  • Teaching and Telling.Will Small - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (3):372-387.
    Recent work on testimony has raised questions about the extent to which testimony is a distinctively second-personal phenomenon and the possible epistemic significance of its second-personal aspects. However, testimony, in the sense primarily investigated in recent epistemology, is far from the only way in which we acquire knowledge from others. My goal is to distinguish knowledge acquired from testimony (learning from being told) from knowledge acquired from teaching (learning from being taught), and to investigate the similarities and differences between the (...)
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  • Dimensions of Objectual Understanding.Christoph Baumberger & Georg Brun - 2017 - In Stephen Grimm Christoph Baumberger & Sabine Ammon (eds.), Explaining Understanding: New Perspectives from Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 165-189.
    In science and philosophy, a relatively demanding notion of understanding is of central interest: an epistemic subject understands a subject matter by means of a theory. This notion can be explicated in a way which resembles JTB analyses of knowledge. The explication requires that the theory answers to the facts, that the subject grasps the theory, that she is committed to the theory and that the theory is justified for her. In this paper, we focus on the justification condition and (...)
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  • Understanding Versus Explanation? How to Think About the Distinction Between the Human and the Natural Sciences.Karsten R. Stueber - 2012 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 55 (1):17 - 32.
    Abstract This essay will argue systematically and from a historical perspective that there is something to be said for the traditional claim that the human and natural sciences are distinct epistemic practices. Yet, in light of recent developments in contemporary philosophy of science, one has to be rather careful in utilizing the distinction between understanding and explanation for this purpose. One can only recognize the epistemic distinctiveness of the human sciences by recognizing the epistemic centrality of reenactive empathy for our (...)
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  • Hempel on Scientific Understanding.Xingming Hu - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88 (8):164-171.
    Hempel seems to hold the following three views: (H1) Understanding is pragmatic/relativistic: Whether one understands why X happened in terms of Explanation E depends on one's beliefs and cognitive abilities; (H2) Whether a scientific explanation is good, just like whether a mathematical proof is good, is a nonpragmatic and objective issue independent of the beliefs or cognitive abilities of individuals; (H3) The goal of scientific explanation is understanding: A good scientific explanation is the one that provides understanding. Apparently, H1, H2, (...)
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  • Knowledge Versus Understanding: The Cost of Avoiding Gettier.Mikael Janvid - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (2):183-197.
    In the current discussion on epistemic value, several philosophers argue that understanding enjoys higher epistemological significance and epistemic value than knowledge—the epistemic state the epistemological tradition has been preoccupied with. By noting a tension between the necessary conditions for understanding in the perhaps most prominent of these philosophers, Jonathan Kvanvig, this paper disputes the higher epistemological relevance of understanding. At the end, on the basis of the results of the previous sections, some alternative comparative contrasts between knowledge and understanding are (...)
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  • Against Harmony: Infinite Idealizations and Causal Explanation.Iulian D. Toader - 2015 - In Romanian Studies in Philosophy of Science. Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 313,. pp. 291-301.
    This paper argues against the view that the standard explanation of phase transitions in statistical mechanics may be considered a causal explanation, a distortion that can nevertheless successfully represent causal relations.
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  • Scientific Explanation and Understanding: Unificationism Reconsidered.Sorin Bangu - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):103-126.
    The articulation of an overarching account of scientific explanation has long been a central preoccupation for the philosophers of science. Although a while ago the literature was dominated by two approaches—a causal account and a unificationist account—today the consensus seems to be that the causal account has won. In this paper, I challenge this consensus and attempt to revive unificationism. More specifically, I aim to accomplish three goals. First, I add new criticisms to the standard anti-unificationist arguments, in order to (...)
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  • Lucky Understanding Without Knowledge.Yasha Rohwer - 2014 - Synthese 191 (5):1-15.
    Can one still have understanding in situations that involve the kind of epistemic luck that undermines knowledge? Kvanvig (The value of knowledge and the pursuit of understanding, 2003; in: Haddock A, Miller A, Pritchard D (eds) Epistemic value, 2009a; in: Haddock A, Miller A, Pritchard D (eds) Epistemic value, 2009b) says yes, Prichard (Grazer Philos Stud 77:325–339, 2008; in: O’Hear A (ed) Epistemology, 2009; in: Pritchard D, Millar A, Haddock A (eds) The nature and value of knowledge: three investigations, 2010) (...)
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  • Understanding Understanding: An Epistemological Investigation.Mikael Janvid - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):971-985.
    Understanding has received growing interest from epistemologists in recent years, but no consensus regarding its epistemic properties has yet been reached. This paper extracts, but also rejects, candidates of epistemic properties for construing an epistemological model of understanding from the writings of epistemologists participating in the current discussion surrounding that state. On the basis of these results, a suggestion is put forward according to which understanding is a non-basic epistemic state of warrant rather than knowledge. It is argued that this (...)
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  • The Multifaceted Role of Imagination in Science and Religion. A Critical Examination of its Epistemic, Creative and Meaning-Making Functions.Ingrid Malm Lindberg - 2021 - Dissertation, Uppsala University
    The main purpose of this dissertation is to examine critically and discuss the role of imagination in science and religion, with particular emphasis on its possible epistemic, creative, and meaning-making functions. In order to answer my research questions, I apply theories and concepts from contemporary philosophy of mind on scientific and religious practices. This framework allows me to explore the mental state of imagination, not as an isolated phenomenon but, rather, as one of many mental states that co-exist and interplay (...)
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  • The Epistemic Value of Understanding-Why.Xingming Hu - forthcoming - Episteme:1-17.
    Some philosophers recently have objected that veritism cannot explain the epistemic value of understanding-why. And they have proposed two anti-veritist accounts. In this paper, I first introduce their objection and argue that it fails. Next, I consider a strengthened version of their objection and argue that it also fails. After that, I suggest a new veritist account: Understanding-why entails believing the truth that what is grasped is accurate, and it is this true belief, along with many other true beliefs understanding-why (...)
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  • Rational Understanding: Toward a Probabilistic Epistemology of Acceptability.Finnur Dellsén - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2475-2494.
    To understand something involves some sort of commitment to a set of propositions comprising an account of the understood phenomenon. Some take this commitment to be a species of belief; others, such as Elgin and I, take it to be a kind of cognitive policy. This paper takes a step back from debates about the nature of understanding and asks when this commitment involved in understanding is epistemically appropriate, or ‘acceptable’ in Elgin’s terminology. In particular, appealing to lessons from the (...)
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  • The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding.David Bourget - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):285-318.
    One sometimes believes a proposition without grasping it. For example, a complete achromat might believe that ripe tomatoes are red without grasping this proposition. My aim in this paper is to shed light on the difference between merely believing a proposition and grasping it. I focus on two possible theories of grasping: the inferential theory, which explains grasping in terms of inferential role, and the phenomenal theory, which explains grasping in terms of phenomenal consciousness. I argue that the phenomenal theory (...)
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  • Do We Deserve Credit for Everything We Understand?Federica Isabella Malfatti - forthcoming - Episteme:1-20.
    It is widely acknowledged in the literature in social epistemology that knowledge has a social dimension: we are epistemically dependent upon one another for most of what we know. Our knowledge can be, and very often is, grounded on the epistemic achievement of somebody else. But what about epistemic aims other than knowledge? What about understanding? Prominent authors argue that understanding is not social in the same way in which knowledge is. Others can put us in the position to understand, (...)
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  • Scientific Progress and Collective Attitudes.Keith Raymond Harris - forthcoming - Episteme:1-20.
    Psychological-epistemic accounts take scientific progress to consist in the development of some psychological-epistemic attitude. Disagreements over what the relevant attitude is – true belief, knowledge, or understanding – divide proponents of the semantic, epistemic, and noetic accounts of scientific progress, respectively. Proponents of all such accounts face a common challenge. On the face of it, only individuals have psychological attitudes. However, as I argue in what follows, increases in individual true belief, knowledge, and understanding are neither necessary nor sufficient for (...)
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  • The Pragmatic Turn in Explainable Artificial Intelligence.Andrés Páez - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (3):441-459.
    In this paper I argue that the search for explainable models and interpretable decisions in AI must be reformulated in terms of the broader project of offering a pragmatic and naturalistic account of understanding in AI. Intuitively, the purpose of providing an explanation of a model or a decision is to make it understandable to its stakeholders. But without a previous grasp of what it means to say that an agent understands a model or a decision, the explanatory strategies will (...)
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  • Open‐Mindedness as Engagement.Jack M. C. Kwong - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (1):70-86.
    Open-mindedness is an under-explored topic in virtue epistemology, despite its assumed importance for the field. Questions about it abound and need to be answered. For example, what sort of intellectual activities are central to it? Can one be open-minded about one's firmly held beliefs? Why should we strive to be open-minded? This paper aims to shed light on these and other pertinent issues. In particular, it proposes a view that construes open-mindedness as engagement, that is, a willingness to entertain novel (...)
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  • Towards a Knowledge-Based Account of Understanding.Christoph9 Kelp - 2016 - In S. Grimm, C. Baumberger & S. Ammon (eds.), Explaining Understanding. Routledge.
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  • What is Understanding? An Overview of Recent Debates in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science.Christoph Baumberger, Claus Beisbart & Georg Brun - 2017 - In Stephen Grimm Christoph Baumberger & Sabine Ammon (eds.), Explaining Understanding: New Perspectives from Epistemolgy and Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 1-34.
    The paper provides a systematic overview of recent debates in epistemology and philosophy of science on the nature of understanding. We explain why philosophers have turned their attention to understanding and discuss conditions for “explanatory” understanding of why something is the case and for “objectual” understanding of a whole subject matter. The most debated conditions for these types of understanding roughly resemble the three traditional conditions for knowledge: truth, justification and belief. We discuss prominent views about how to construe these (...)
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  • True Enough, by Catherine Z. Elgin.John Bengson - 2020 - Mind 129 (513):256-268.
    True Enough, by ElginCatherine Z. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017. Pp. 352.
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  • Maria Montessori's Epistemology.Patrick R. Frierson - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (4):767-791.
    This paper lays out the epistemology of Maria Montessori . I start with what I call Montessori's ‘interested empiricism’, her empiricist emphasis on the foundational role of the senses combined with her insistence that all cognition is infused with ‘interest’. I then discuss the unconscious. Partly because of her emphasis on early childhood, Montessori puts great emphasis on unconscious cognitive processes and develops a conceptual vocabulary to make sense of the continuity between conscious and unconscious processes. The final sections turn (...)
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  • "Understanding and Transparency".Stephen R. Grimm - 2016 - In Explaining Understanding: New Perspectives From Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
    I explore the extent to which the epistemic state of understanding is transparent to the one who understands. Against several contemporary epistemologists, I argue that it is not transparent in the way that many have claimed, drawing on results from developmental psychology, animal cognition, and other fields.
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  • Understanding as an Intellectual Virtue.Stephen Grimm - 2019 - In Heather Battaly (ed.), Routledge Companion to Virtue Epistemology. New York, USA: Routledge.
    In this paper I elucidate various ways in which understanding can be seen as an excellence of the mind or intellectual virtue. Along the way, I take up the neglected issue of what it might mean to be an “understanding person”—by which I mean not a person who understands a number of things about the natural world, but a person who steers clear of things like judgmentalism in her evaluation of other people, and thus is better able to take up (...)
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  • Basic Action and Practical Knowledge.Will Small - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    It is a commonplace in philosophy of action that there is and must be teleologically basic action: something done on an occasion without doing it by means of doing anything else. It is widely believed that basic actions are exercises of skill. As the source of the need for basic action is the structure of practical reasoning, this yields a conception of skill and practical reasoning as complementary but mutually exclusive. On this view, practical reasoning and complex intentional action depend (...)
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  • Virtuous Insightfulness.J. Adam Carter - 2017 - Episteme 14 (4).
    Insight often strikes us blind; when we aren’t expecting it, we suddenly see a connection that previously eluded us—a kind of ‘Aha!’ experience. People with a propensity to such experiences are regarded as insightful, and insightfulness is a paradigmatic intellectual virtue. What’s not clear, however, is just what it is in virtue of which being such that these experiences tend to happen to one renders one intellectually virtuous. This paper draws from both virtue epistemology as well as empirical work on (...)
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  • The Diverse Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 53:71-80.
    There is increasing attention to the centrality of idealization in science. One common view is that models and other idealized representations are important to science, but that they fall short in one or more ways. On this view, there must be an intermediary step between idealized representation and the traditional aims of science, including truth, explanation, and prediction. Here I develop an alternative interpretation of the relationship between idealized representation and the aims of science. In my view, continuing, widespread idealization (...)
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  • Why Study History? On Its Epistemic Benefits and Its Relation to the Sciences.Stephen R. Grimm - 2017 - Philosophy 92 (3):399-420.
    I try to return the focus of the philosophy of history to the nature of understanding, with a particular emphasis on Louis Mink’s project of exploring how historical understanding compares to the understanding we find in the natural sciences. On the whole, I come to a conclusion that Mink almost certainly would not have liked: that the understanding offered by history has a very similar epistemic profile to the understanding offered by the sciences, a similarity that stems from the fact (...)
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  • Relativism, Knowledge and Understanding.J. Adam Carter - 2014 - Episteme 11 (1):35-52.
    The arguments for and against a truth-relativist semantics for propositional knowledge attributions (KTR) have been debated almost exclusively in the philosophy of language. But what implications would this semantic thesis have in epistemology? This question has been largely unexplored. The aim of this paper is to establish and critique several ramifications of KTR in mainstream epistemology. The first section of the paper develops, over a series of arguments, the claim that MacFarlane's (2005, 2010) core argument for KTR ultimately motivates (for (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Cognitive Enhancement.J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (2):220-242.
    A common epistemological assumption in contemporary bioethics held b y both proponents and critics of non-traditional forms of cognitive enhancement is that cognitive enhancement aims at the facilitation of the accumulation of human knowledge. This paper does three central things. First, drawing from recent work in epistemology, a rival account of cognitive enhancement, framed in terms of the notion of cognitive achievement rather than knowledge, is proposed. Second, we outline and respond to an axiological objection to our proposal that draws (...)
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