David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):337-344 (2010)
I defend the claim that understanding is the goal of explanation against various persistent criticisms, especially the criticism that understanding is not truth-connected in the appropriate way, and hence is a merely psychological state. Part of the reason why understanding has been dismissed as the goal of explanation, I suggest, is because the psychological dimension of the goal of explanation has itself been almost entirely neglected. In turn, the psychological dimension of understanding—the Aha! experience, the sense that a certain explanation “feels right”, and so on—has been conspicuously overemphasized. I try to correct for both of these exaggerations. Just as the goal of explanation includes a richer psychological—including phenomenological—dimension than is generally acknowledged, so too understanding has a stronger truth connection than is generally acknowledged.Keywords: Understanding; Explanation; Philosophy of science; Epistemology
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References found in this work BETA
Linda Zagzebski (2009). On Epistemology. Wadsworth.
Henk W. De Regt & Dennis Dieks (2005). A Contextual Approach to Scientific Understanding. Synthese 144 (1):137 - 170.
J. D. Trout (2002). Scientific Explanation and the Sense of Understanding. Philosophy of Science 69 (2):212-233.
Michael Friedman (1974). Explanation and Scientific Understanding. Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
J. D. Trout (2007). The Psychology of Scientific Explanation. Philosophy Compass 2 (3):564–591.
Citations of this work BETA
Kareem Khalifa (2012). Inaugurating Understanding or Repackaging Explanation? Philosophy of Science 79 (1):15-37.
Kareem Khalifa (2013). Understanding, Grasping, and Luck. Episteme 10 (1):1-17.
Mark Newman (2013). Refining the Inferential Model of Scientific Understanding. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (2):173-197.
Michael R. Depaul & Stephen R. Grimm (2007). Review Essay on Jonathan Kvanvig's the Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):498–514.
Henk W. de Regt (2013). Understanding and Explanation: Living Apart Together? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):505-509.
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