The psychology of scientific explanation

Philosophy Compass 2 (3):564–591 (2007)
Philosophers agree that scientific explanations aim to produce understanding, and that good ones succeed in this aim. But few seriously consider what understanding is, or what the cues are when we have it. If it is a psychological state or process, describing its specific nature is the job of psychological theorizing. This article examines the role of understanding in scientific explanation. It warns that the seductive, phenomenological sense of understanding is often, but mistakenly, viewed as a cue of genuine understanding. The article closes with a discussion of several new paths of research that tie the psychology of scientific explanation to cognate notions of learning, testimony, and understanding.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2007.00081.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,974
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 50 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Michael Strevens (2013). No Understanding Without Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):510-515.
Stephen R. Grimm (2010). The Goal of Explanation. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 41 (4):337-344.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

372 ( #1,633 of 1,725,873 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

304 ( #259 of 1,725,873 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.