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  1. Henk W. de Regt (1999). Ludwig Boltzmann's Bildtheorie and Scientific Understanding. Synthese 119 (1-2):113-134.
    Boltzmann’s Bildtheorie, which asserts that scientific theories are ‘mental pictures’ having at best a partial similarity to reality, was a core element of his philosophy of science. The aim of this article is to draw attention to a neglected aspect of it, namely its significance for the issue of scientific explanation and understanding, regarded by Boltzmann as central goals of science. I argue that, in addition to being an epistemological view of the interpretation of scientific theories Boltzmann’s Bildtheorie has implications (...)
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  2. Henk De Regt, Sabina Leonelli & Kai Eigner (eds.) (2009). Scientific Understanding: Philosophical Perspectives. University of Pittsburgh Press.
    The chapters in this book highlight the multifaceted nature of the process of scientific research.
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  3. Gary Hardcastle, A Problem-Solving Account of Scientific Explanation.
    An account of scientific explanation is presented according to which (1) scientific explanation consists in solving “insight” problems (Metcalfe and Wiebe 1984) and (2) understanding is the result of solving such problems. The theory is pragmatic; it draws upon van Fraassen’s (1977, 1980) insights, avoids the objections to pragmatic accounts offered by Kitcher and Salmon (1987), and relates scientific explanation directly to understanding. The theory also accommodates cases of explanatory asymmetry and intuitively legitimate rejections of explanation requests.
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  4. Christoph Hoerl (2013). Jaspers on Explaining and Understanding in Psychiatry. In Thomas Fuchs & Giovanni Stanghellini (eds.), One Hundred Years of Karl Jaspers' General Psychopathology. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter offers an interpretation of Jaspers’ distinction between explaining and understanding, which relates this distinction to that between general and singular causal claims. Put briefly, I suggest that when Jaspers talks about (mere) explanation, what he has in mind are general causal claims linking types of events. Understanding, by contrast, is concerned with singular causation in the psychological domain. Furthermore, I also suggest that Jaspers thinks that only understanding makes manifest what causation between one element of a person’s mental (...)
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  5. K. Khalifa (2013). The Role of Explanation in Understanding. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):161-187.
    Peter Lipton has argued that understanding can exist in the absence of explanation. We argue that this does not denigrate explanation's importance to understanding. Specifically, we show that all of Lipton's examples are consistent with the idea that explanation is the ideal of understanding, i.e. other modes of understanding ought to be assessed by how well they replicate the understanding provided by a good and correct explanation. We defend this idea by showing that for all of Lipton's examples of non-explanatory (...)
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  6. Kareem Khalifa (2012). Inaugurating Understanding or Repackaging Explanation? Philosophy of Science 79 (1):15-37.
    Recently, several authors have argued that scientific understanding should be a new topic of philosophical research. In this article, I argue that the three most developed accounts of understanding--Grimm's, de Regt's, and de Regt and Dieks's--can be replaced by earlier accounts of scientific explanation without loss. Indeed, in some cases, such replacements have clear benefits.
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  7. Kareem Khalifa (2011). Understanding, Knowledge, and Scientific Antirealism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 83 (1):93-112.
    Epistemologists have recently debated whether understanding is a species of knowledge. However, because they have offered little in the way of a detailed analysis of understanding, they lack the resources to resolve this issue. In this paper, I propose that S understands why p if and only if S has the non-Gettierised true belief that p, and for some proposition q, S has the non-Gettierised true belief that q is the best available explanation of p, S can correctly explain p (...)
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  8. Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski (2013). How Organization Explains. In. In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. 69--80.
  9. Antigone M. Nounou (2010). Scientific Understanding and Colorful Quarks. Archives International d'Histoire des Sciences 60 (164):155-171.
    Scientific understanding comes in different kinds, and each kind comes in degrees. Two of these kinds are revealed by the examination of a recent episode from the history of physics: the making of the theory of strong interactions. The first of these kinds of understanding is associated with the realization that some mathematical formalism or theory may have a fruitful application to physical phenomena. This is what I call prior understanding. Yet another kind is associated with the development of the (...)
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  10. Andrés Páez, The Epistemic Value of Explanation.
    In this paper I defend the idea that there is a sense in which it is meaningful and useful to talk about objective understanding, and that to characterize that notion it is necessary to formulate an account of explanation that makes reference to the beliefs and epistemic goals of the participants in a cognitive enterprise. Using the framework for belief revision developed by Isaac Levi, I analyze the conditions that information must fulfill to be both potentially explanatory and epistemically (...)
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  11. Lydia Patton (2009). Scientific Understanding. [REVIEW] Isis 101 (4):932-933..
    In _Aspects of Scientific Explanation_ (New York, 1965), Carl Hempel argued that the philosophy of science should focus on objectivist explanation and should not incorporate an account of pragmatic or subjective understanding. The stated aim of this collection of essays is to argue against Hempel's objectivist view by arguing for incorporating accounts of understanding into the philosophy of science and by giving a substantive account of the role of understanding in modeling and in scientific practice. The volume is ambitious and (...)
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  12. Angela Potochnik (2011). Explanation and Understanding. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):29-38.
    Michael Strevens offers an account of causal explanation according to which explanatory practice is shaped by counterbalanced commitments to representing causal influence and abstracting away from overly specific details. In this paper, I challenge a key feature of that account. I argue that what Strevens calls explanatory frameworks figure prominently in explanatory practice because they actually improve explanations. This suggestion is simple but has far-reaching implications. It affects the status of explanations that cite multiply realizable properties; changes the explanatory role (...)
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  13. Richard L. Purtill (1971). Toulmin on Ideals of Natural Order. Synthese 22 (3-4):431 - 437.
    In this paper I criticize Toulmin's concept of Ideals of Natural Order and his account of the role these Ideals play in scientific explanation as given in his book, Foresight and Understanding. I argue that Toulmin's account of Ideals of Natural Order as those theories taken to be self evident by scientists at a given time introduces an undesirable subjectivism into his account of scientific explanation. I argue also that the history of science, especially the recent history of microphysics, does (...)
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  14. Henk W. De Regt & Dennis Dieks (2005). A Contextual Approach to Scientific Understanding. Synthese 144 (1):137 - 170.
    Achieving understanding of nature is one of the aims of science. In this paper we offer an analysis of the nature of scientific understanding that accords with actual scientific practice and accommodates the historical diversity of conceptions of understanding. Its core idea is a general criterion for the intelligibility of scientific theories that is essentially contextual: which theories conform to this criterion depends on contextual factors, and can change in the course of time. Our analysis provides a general account of (...)
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  15. Michael Strevens (2013). No Understanding Without Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):510-515.
    Scientific understanding, this paper argues, can be analyzed entirely in terms of a mental act of “grasping” and a notion of explanation. To understand why a phenomenon occurs is to grasp a correct explanation of the phenomenon. To understand a scientific theory is to be able to construct, or at least to grasp, a range of potential explanations in which that theory accounts for other phenomena. There is no route to scientific understanding, then, that does not go by way of (...)
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  16. Iulian D. Toader (2012). An Outline of Weylean Skepticism. In Concha Martínez Vidal (ed.), Proceedings of the 7th Conference of the Spanish Society for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science.
    This paper introduces Weylean skepticism, the view that objectivity and intelligibility are opposite ideals of science, explains the motivation for it and the argument that justifies it. The paper indicates also a couple of ways in which this skepticism could be resisted.
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  17. Jonathan Waskan (2008). Knowledge of Counterfactual Interventions Through Cognitive Models of Mechanisms. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):259 – 275.
    Here I consider the relative merits of two recent models of explanation, James Woodward's interventionist-counterfactual model and the model model. According to the former, explanations are largely constituted by information about the consequences of counterfactual interventions. Problems arise for this approach because countless relevant interventions are possible in most cases and because it overlooks other kinds of equally relevant information. According the model model, explanations are largely constituted by cognitive models of actual mechanisms. On this approach, explanations tend not to (...)
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  18. Petri Ylikoski (2011). Social Mechanisms and Explanatory Relevance. In Pierre Demeulenaere (ed.), Analytical Sociology and Social Mechanisms. Cambridge University Press. 154.
  19. Petri Ylikoski (2009). Illusions in Scientific Understanding. In Henk De Regt, Sabina Leonelli & Kai Eigner (eds.), Scientific Understanding: Philosophical Perspectives. University of Pittsburgh Press.
  20. Petri Ylikoski (2009). The Illusion of Depth of Understanding in Science. In H. W. de Regt, S. Leonelli & K. Eigner (eds.), Scientific Understanding : Philosophical Perspectives. University of Pittsburgh Press. 100--119.
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  21. Petri Ylikoski & Jaakko Kuorikoski (2010). Dissecting Explanatory Power. Philosophical Studies 148 (2):201–219.
    Comparisons of rival explanations or theories often involve vague appeals to explanatory power. In this paper, we dissect this metaphor by distinguishing between different dimensions of the goodness of an explanation: non-sensitivity, cognitive salience, precision, factual accuracy and degree of integration. These dimensions are partially independent and often come into conflict. Our main contribution is to go beyond simple stipulation or description by explicating why these factors are taken to be explanatory virtues. We accomplish this by using the contrastive-counterfactual approach (...)
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