Understanding and Coming to Understand

In Stephen Grimm (ed.), Making Sense of the World: New Essays on the Philosophy of Understanding. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)
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Many philosophers take understanding to be a distinctive kind of knowledge that involves grasping dependency relations; moreover, they hold it to be particularly valuable. This paper aims to investigate and address two well-known puzzles that arise from this conception: (1) the nature of understanding itself—in particular, the nature of “grasping”; (2) the source of understanding’s distinctive value. In what follows, I’ll argue that we can shed light on both puzzles by recognizing first, the importance of the distinction between the act of coming to understand and the state of understanding; and second, that coming to understand is a creative act.
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Archival date: 2016-10-13
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