No understanding without explanation

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 scientific explanation.
Keywords Explanation  Understanding  Grasping
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2012.12.005
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References found in this work BETA
Philip Kitcher (1981). Explanatory Unification. Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.
Stephen R. Grimm (2006). Is Understanding a Species of Knowledge? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):515-535.

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Citations of this work BETA
Angela Potochnik (forthcoming). The Diverse Aims of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.

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K. Khalifa (2013). The Role of Explanation in Understanding. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):161-187.
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Douglas Walton (2004). A New Dialectical Theory of Explanation. Philosophical Explorations 7 (1):71 – 89.

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