Explicating objectual understanding: taking degrees seriously

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
The paper argues that an account of understanding should take the form of a Carnapian explication and acknowledge that understanding comes in degrees. An explication of objectual understanding is defended, which helps to make sense of the cognitive achievements and goals of science. The explication combines a necessary condition with three evaluative dimensions: An epistemic agent understands a subject matter by means of a theory only if the agent commits herself sufficiently to the theory of the subject matter, and to the degree that the agent grasps the theory, the theory answers to the facts and the agent’s commitment to the theory is justified. The threshold for outright attributions of understanding is determined contextually. The explication has descriptive as well as normative facets and allows for the possibility of understanding by means of non-explanatory theories.
Reprint years
2017
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BAUEOU
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-10-05
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Scientific Image.Van Fraassen, Bas C.

View all 52 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-07-19

Total views
57 ( #30,077 of 39,912 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
29 ( #17,628 of 39,912 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.