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Summary Understanding and explanation are both central topics in philosophy of science and epistemology. But how are the two related? One popular view is that understanding is just the cognitive state you are in then you can explain something. Another view is that understanding involves explanation, but also involves other cognitive abilities, such as an ability to explain other things. Finally, some argue that understanding needn't even involve explanation at all.
Key works Early work on explanation which emphasize its role in generating understanding include Friedman 1974 and Salmon 1993. Strevens 2013 and Khalifa 2012 (see also Khalifa 2013) both argue that understanding and explanation are roughly two sides of the same coin. Grimm 2010 argues that understanding is the goal of explanation, and Hills 2015 argues that understanding amounts to a kind of cognitive (and partly explanatory) know-how.  Lipton 2009 argues that there are cases that show that understanding needn't involve explanation. Kvanvig 2009 argues that there is a type of understanding -- objectual understanding -- that isn't necessarily explanatory. Khalifa 2013 demurs.
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  1. added 2020-05-21
    How to Explain How-Possibly.Lindsay Brainard - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (13):1-23.
    Explaining how something is possible is a familiar and epistemically important achievement in both science and ordinary life. But a satisfactory general account of how-possibly explanation has not yet been given. A crucial desideratum for a successful account is that it must differentiate a demonstration that something is possible from an explanation of how it is possible. In this paper, I offer an account of how-possibly explanation that fully captures this distinction. I motivate my account using two cases, one from (...)
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  2. added 2020-05-11
    How Do We Obtain Understanding with the Help of Explanations?Gabriel Târziu - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-25.
    What exactly do we need in order to enjoy the cognitive benefit that is supposed to be provided by an explanation? Some philosophers :15–37, 2012, Episteme 10:1–17, 2013, Eur J Philos Sci 5:377–385, 2015, Understanding, explanation, and scientific knowledge, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2017) would say that all that we need is to know the explanation. Others :1–26, 2012; Strevens in Stud Hist Philos Sci Part A 44:510–515, 2013) would say that achieving understanding with the help of an explanation requires (...)
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  3. added 2020-05-10
    Towards a Pluralist Account of the Imagination in Science.Alice Murphy - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Typically, the imagination in thought experiments has been taken to consist in mental images; we visualise the state of affairs described. A recent alternative maintains that it is only the propositional imagination that is necessary for the conduct of a thought experiment (Salis and Frigg forthcoming). I set out problems with these monistic accounts, and develop a pluralist stance. Thought experiments appeal to a variety of our imaginative capacities and we ought to focus on the function of particular thought experiments (...)
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  4. added 2020-04-27
    Simplicity of What? A Case Study From Generative Linguistics.Giulia Terzian & María Inés Corbalán - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    The Minimalist Program in generative linguistics is predicated on the idea that simplicity is a defining property of the human language faculty, on the one hand; on the other, a central aim of linguistic theorising. Worryingly, however, justifications for either claim are hard to come by in the literature. We sketch a proposal that would allow for both shortcomings to be addressed, and that furthermore honours the program’s declared commitment to naturalism. We begin by teasing apart and clarifying the different (...)
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  5. added 2020-02-14
    Understanding, Truth, and Epistemic Goals.Kareem Khalifa - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Several argue that truth cannot be science’s sole epistemic goal, for it would fail to do justice to several scientific practices that advance understanding. I challenge these arguments, but only after making a small concession: science’s sole epistemic goal is not truth as such; rather, its goal is finding true answers to relevant questions. Using examples from the natural and social sciences, I then show that scientific understanding’s epistemically valuable features are either true answers to relevant questions or a means (...)
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  6. added 2020-02-06
    Idealization and Many Aims.Angela Potochnik - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    In this paper, I first outline the view developed in my recent book on the role of idealization in scientifi c understanding. I discuss how this view leads to the recognition of a number of kinds of variability among scientifi c representations, including variability introduced by the many different aims of scienti fic projects. I then argue that the role of idealization in securing understanding distances understanding from truth, but that this understanding nonetheless gives rise to scienti fic knowledge. This (...)
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  7. added 2019-12-04
    Scientific Understanding and Felicitous Legitimate Falsehoods.Insa Lawler - forthcoming - Synthese:1-29.
    Science is replete with falsehoods that epistemically facilitate understanding by virtue of being the very falsehoods they are. In view of this puzzling fact, some have relaxed the truth requirement on understanding. I offer a factive view of understanding that fully accommodates the puzzling fact in four steps: (i) I argue that the question how these falsehoods are related to the phenomenon to be understood and the question how they figure into the content of understanding it are independent. (ii) I (...)
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  8. added 2019-10-07
    Understanding and Explaining.Christoph Hoerl - 2019 - In Giovanni Stanghellini, Matthew Broome, Anthony Vincent Fernandez, Paolo Fusar-Poli, Andrea Raballo & Rene Rosfort (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Phenomenological Psychopathology. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 407-413.
    This chapter examines Karl Jaspers’s influential distinction between understanding and explaining, and its significance in psychiatry. It first outlines one way of interpreting the distinction, on which it is connected to the distinction between singular and general causal claims. It then discusses one reason for thinking that understanding has an essential role to play in psychiatry: Not achieving at least some level of understanding in the context of dealing with psychiatric patients would constitute a particular kind of epistemic failure—a failure (...)
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  9. added 2019-09-12
    What is Scientific Understanding and How Can It Be Achieved?Henk de Regt & Christoph Baumberger - 2019 - In Kevin McKain & Kostas Kampourakis (eds.), What Is Scientific Knowledge? An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology of Science. New York, NY, USA: pp. 66-81.
    Science has not only produced a vast amount of knowledge about a wide range of phenomena, it has also enhanced our understanding of these phenomena. Indeed, understanding can be regarded as one of the central aims of science. But what exactly is it to understand phenomena scientifically, and how can scientific understanding be achieved? What is the difference between scientific knowledge and scientific understanding? These questions are hotly debated in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science. While philosophers have long regarded (...)
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  10. added 2019-09-04
    Unification and the Myth of Purely Reductive Understanding.Michael J. Shaffer - 2020 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 27:142-168.
    In this paper significant challenges are raised with respect to the view that explanation essentially involves unification. These objections are raised specifically with respect to the well-known versions of unificationism developed and defended by Michael Friedman and Philip Kitcher. The objections involve the explanatory regress argument and the concepts of reduction and scientific understanding. Essentially, the contention made here is that these versions of unificationism wrongly assume that reduction secures understanding.
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  11. added 2019-09-01
    Veritism Refuted? Understanding, Idealizations, and the Facts.Tamer Nawar - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Elgin offers an influential and far-reaching challenge to veritism. She takes scientific understanding to be non-factive and maintains that there are epistemically useful falsehoods that figure ineliminably in scientific understanding and whose falsehood is no epistemic defect. Veritism, she argues, cannot account for these facts. This paper argues that while Elgin rightly draws attention to several features of epistemic practices frequently neglected by veritists, veritists have numerous plausible ways of responding to her arguments. In particular, it is not clear that (...)
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  12. added 2019-07-18
    Understanding From Machine Learning Models.Emily Sullivan - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz035.
    Simple idealized models seem to provide more understanding than opaque, complex, and hyper-realistic models. However, an increasing number of scientists are going in the opposite direction by utilizing opaque machine learning models to make predictions and draw inferences, suggesting that scientists are opting for models that have less potential for understanding. Are scientists trading understanding for some other epistemic or pragmatic good when they choose a machine learning model? Or are the assumptions behind why minimal models provide understanding misguided? In (...)
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  13. added 2019-06-12
    Can We Have Mathematical Understanding of Physical Phenomena?Gabriel Târziu - 2018 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (1):91-109.
    Can mathematics contribute to our understanding of physical phenomena? One way to try to answer this question is by getting involved in the recent philosophical dispute about the existence of mathematical explanations of physical phenomena. If there is such a thing, given the relation between explanation and understanding, we can say that there is an affirmative answer to our question. But what if we do not agree that mathematics can play an explanatory role in science? Can we still consider that (...)
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  14. added 2019-06-06
    Analogy and Understanding.Jiri Syrovatka - 2000 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 15 (3):435-450.
    Analogy is taken into consideration by its didactive and heuristic functions. Analogic changes are analyzed in the form of syntactic-semantic graphs. Their recognizable structural similarity corresponds to the syntax or semantics in the analogy. The concept of analogy has subjective and objective aspects. The explanation in analogies is a dynamic transition from one concept structure to another. The possibility of analogy in the world is a statement about the disposition of the world. The possibility of analogy asserts something about the (...)
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  15. added 2019-06-06
    Ludwig Boltzmann's Bildtheorie and Scientific Understanding.Henk W. de Regt - 1999 - Synthese 119 (1):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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  16. added 2019-06-06
    La "distinción" diltheyana entre explicación y comprensión y la posibilidad de una "mediación" entre ambas.Karl Otto Apel & Telos Staff - 1985 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 15 (1/2):95.
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  17. added 2019-06-05
    Quantum Mechanics’ and ‘Scientific Explanation’ An Explanatory Strategy Aiming at Providing ‘Understanding.Pandora Hadzidaki - 2008 - Science & Education 17 (1):49-73.
    Empirical studies persistently indicate that the usual explanatory strategies used in quantum mechanics (QM) instruction fail, in general, to yield understanding. In this study we propose an instructional intervention, which (a) incorporates into its subject matter a critical comparison of QM scientific content with the fundamental epistemological and ontological commitments of the prominent philosophical theories of explanation - a weak form of which we meet in QM teaching; (b) illuminates the reasons of their failure; and (c) implements an explanatory strategy (...)
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  18. added 2019-05-30
    The Pragmatic Turn in Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI).Andrés Páez - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (3):441-459.
    In this paper I argue that the search for explainable models and interpretable decisions in AI must be reformulated in terms of the broader project of offering a pragmatic and naturalistic account of understanding in AI. Intuitively, the purpose of providing an explanation of a model or a decision is to make it understandable to its stakeholders. But without a previous grasp of what it means to say that an agent understands a model or a decision, the explanatory strategies will (...)
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  19. added 2019-05-09
    Review of Henk de Regt's Understanding Scientific Understanding. [REVIEW]Kareem Khalifa - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  20. added 2019-05-01
    Radical Scepticism and the Epistemology of Confusion.J. Adam Carter - 2019 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism (3):1-15.
    The lack of knowledge—as Timothy Williamson (2000) famously maintains—is ignorance. Radical sceptical arguments, at least in the tradition of Descartes, threaten universal ignorance. They do so by attempting to establish that we lack any knowledge, even if we can retain other kinds of epistemic standings, like epistemically justified belief. If understanding is a species of knowledge, then radical sceptical arguments threaten to rob us categorically of knowledge and understanding in one fell swoop by implying universal ignorance. If, however, understanding is (...)
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  21. added 2019-04-17
    Rational Understanding: Toward a Probabilistic Epistemology of Acceptability.Finnur Dellsén - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    To understand something involves some sort of commitment to a set of propositions comprising an account of the understood phenomenon. Some take this commitment to be a species of belief; others, such as Elgin and I, take it to be a kind of cognitive policy. This paper takes a step back from debates about the nature of understanding and asks when this commitment involved in understanding is epistemically appropriate, or `acceptable' in Elgin's terminology. In particular, appealing to lessons from the (...)
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  22. added 2019-03-21
    Understanding Does Not Depend on (Causal) Explanation.Philippe Verreault-Julien - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):18.
    One can find in the literature two sets of views concerning the relationship between understanding and explanation: that one understands only if 1) one has knowledge of causes and 2) that knowledge is provided by an explanation. Taken together, these tenets characterize what I call the narrow knowledge account of understanding. While the first tenet has recently come under severe attack, the second has been more resistant to change. I argue that we have good reasons to reject it on the (...)
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  23. added 2019-03-21
    How Could Models Possibly Provide How-Possibly Explanations?Philippe Verreault-Julien - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 73:1-12.
    One puzzle concerning highly idealized models is whether they explain. Some suggest they provide so-called ‘how-possibly explanations’. However, this raises an important question about the nature of how-possibly explanations, namely what distinguishes them from ‘normal’, or how-actually, explanations? I provide an account of how-possibly explanations that clarifies their nature in the context of solving the puzzle of model-based explanation. I argue that the modal notions of actuality and possibility provide the relevant dividing lines between how-possibly and how-actually explanations. Whereas how-possibly (...)
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  24. added 2019-03-04
    Against Harmony: Infinite Idealizations and Causal Explanation.Iulian D. Toader - 2015 - In Romanian Studies in Philosophy of Science. Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 313,. pp. 291-301.
    This paper argues against the view that the standard explanation of phase transitions in statistical mechanics may be considered a causal explanation, a distortion that can nevertheless successfully represent causal relations.
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  25. added 2018-12-12
    Explanation, Understanding, and Belief Revision.Andrés Páez - 2018 - In Marco Ruffino, Max Freund & Max Fernández de Castro (eds.), Logic and philosophy of logic. Recent trends from Latin America and Spain. London: College Publications. pp. 233-252.
  26. added 2018-11-14
    String Theory, Non-Empirical Theory Assessment, and the Context of Pursuit.Frank Cabrera - 2018 - Synthese:1-29.
    In this paper, I offer an analysis of the radical disagreement over the adequacy of string theory. The prominence of string theory despite its notorious lack of empirical support is sometimes explained as a troubling case of science gone awry, driven largely by sociological mechanisms such as groupthink (e.g. Smolin 2006). Others, such as Dawid (2013), explain the controversy by positing a methodological revolution of sorts, according to which string theorists have quietly turned to nonempirical methods of theory assessment given (...)
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  27. added 2018-11-12
    Idealizations and Understanding: Much Ado About Nothing?Emily Sullivan & Kareem Khalifa - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):673-689.
    Because idealizations frequently advance scientific understanding, many claim that falsehoods play an epistemic role. In this paper, we argue that these positions greatly overstate idealiza...
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  28. added 2018-10-27
    Non-Factive Understanding: A Statement and Defense.Yannick Doyle, Spencer Egan, Noah Graham & Kareem Khalifa - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (3):345-365.
    In epistemology and philosophy of science, there has been substantial debate about truth’s relation to understanding. “Non-factivists” hold that radical departures from the truth are not always barriers to understanding; “quasi-factivists” demur. The most discussed example concerns scientists’ use of idealizations in certain derivations of the ideal gas law from statistical mechanics. Yet, these discussions have suffered from confusions about the relevant science, as well as conceptual confusions. Addressing this example, we shall argue that the ideal gas law is best (...)
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  29. added 2018-09-28
    Understanding, Explanation, and Intelligibility: Henk de Regt: Understanding Scientific Understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, Xii+301pp, £ 47.99HB. [REVIEW]Insa Lawler - 2018 - Metascience (1):57-60.
    Review of Henk de Regt's "Understanding Scientific Understanding".
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  30. added 2018-06-21
    Beyond Explanation: Understanding as Dependency Modeling.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    This paper presents and argues for an account of objectual understanding that aims to do justice to the full range of cases of scientific understanding, including cases in which one does not have an explanation of the understood phenomenon. According to the proposed account, one understands a phenomenon just in case one grasps a sufficiently accurate and comprehensive model of the ways in which it or its features are situated within a network of dependence relations; one’s degree of understanding is (...)
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  31. added 2018-06-20
    The Ontic Conception of Scientific Explanation.Cory Wright - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:20-30.
    Wesley Salmon’s version of the ontic conception of explanation is a main historical root of contemporary work on mechanistic explanation. This paper examines and critiques the philosophical merits of Salmon’s version, and argues that his conception’s most fundamental construct is either fundamentally obscure, or else reduces to a non-ontic conception of explanation. Either way, the ontic conception is a misconception.
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  32. added 2018-06-12
    Review of Chrysostomos Mantzavinos's Explanatory Pluralism. [REVIEW]Alexander Beard & Cory Wright - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):569–572.
  33. added 2018-05-18
    Realism and Explanatory Perspectivism.Juha Saatsi - forthcoming - In Michela Massimi & C. D. McCoy (eds.), Understanding Perspectivism: Scientific Challenges and Methodological Prospects. New York: Routledge.
    This chapter defends a (minimal) realist conception of progress in scientific understanding in the face of the ubiquitous plurality of perspectives in science. The argument turns on the counterfactual-dependence framework of explanation and understanding, which is illustrated and evidenced with reference to different explanations of the rainbow.
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  34. added 2018-05-07
    Understanding in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science: A Complicated Relationship: Stephen Grimm, Christoph Baumberger, and Sabine Ammon : Explaining Understanding: New Perspectives From Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. New York and London: Routledge, 2017, Xvi + 337 Pp, £110 HB. [REVIEW]Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Metascience 27 (2):195-198.
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  35. added 2018-01-17
    Eight Other Questions About Explanation.Angela Potochnik - 2018 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The tremendous philosophical focus on how to characterize explanatory metaphysical dependence has eclipsed a number of other unresolved issued about scientific explanation. The purpose of this paper is taxonomical. I will outline a number of other questions about the nature of explanation and its role in science—eight, to be precise—and argue that each is independent. All of these topics have received some philosophical attention, but none nearly so much as it deserves. Furthermore, existing views on these topics have been obscured (...)
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  36. added 2017-09-21
    Understanding, Explanation, and Scientific Knowledge.Kareem Khalifa - 2017 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    From antiquity to the end of the twentieth century, philosophical discussions of understanding remained undeveloped, guided by a 'received view' that takes understanding to be nothing more than knowledge of an explanation. More recently, however, this received view has been criticized, and bold new philosophical proposals about understanding have emerged in its place. In this book, Kareem Khalifa argues that the received view should be revised but not abandoned. In doing so, he clarifies and answers the most central questions in (...)
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  37. added 2017-09-18
    Non-Causal Understanding with Economic Models: The Case of General Equilibrium.Philippe Verreault-Julien - 2017 - Journal of Economic Methodology 24 (3):297-317.
    How can we use models to understand real phenomena if models misrepresent the very phenomena we seek to understand? Some accounts suggest that models may afford understanding by providing causal knowledge about phenomena via how-possibly explanations. However, general equilibrium models, for example, pose a challenge to this solution since their contribution appears to be purely mathematical results. Despite this, practitioners widely acknowledge that it improves our understanding of the world. I argue that the Arrow–Debreu model provides a mathematical how-possibly explanation (...)
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  38. added 2017-09-14
    How Thought Experiments Increase Understanding.Michael T. Stuart - 2017 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach J. H. Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London: Routledge. pp. 526-544.
    We might think that thought experiments are at their most powerful or most interesting when they produce new knowledge. This would be a mistake; thought experiments that seek understanding are just as powerful and interesting, and perhaps even more so. A growing number of epistemologists are emphasizing the importance of understanding for epistemology, arguing that it should supplant knowledge as the central notion. In this chapter, I bring the literature on understanding in epistemology to bear on explicating the different ways (...)
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  39. added 2017-09-14
    Taming Theory with Thought Experiments: Understanding and Scientific Progress.Michael T. Stuart - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 58:24-33.
    I claim that one way thought experiments contribute to scientific progress is by increasing scientific understanding. Understanding does not have a currently accepted characterization in the philosophical literature, but I argue that we already have ways to test for it. For instance, current pedagogical practice often requires that students demonstrate being in either or both of the following two states: 1) Having grasped the meaning of some relevant theory, concept, law or model, 2) Being able to apply that theory, concept, (...)
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  40. added 2017-07-27
    Varying the Explanatory Span: Scientific Explanation for Computer Simulations.Juan Manuel Durán - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (1):27-45.
    This article aims to develop a new account of scientific explanation for computer simulations. To this end, two questions are answered: what is the explanatory relation for computer simulations? And what kind of epistemic gain should be expected? For several reasons tailored to the benefits and needs of computer simulations, these questions are better answered within the unificationist model of scientific explanation. Unlike previous efforts in the literature, I submit that the explanatory relation is between the simulation model and the (...)
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  41. added 2017-06-03
    Idealization and the Aims of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2017 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    Science is the study of our world, as it is in its messy reality. Nonetheless, science requires idealization to function—if we are to attempt to understand the world, we have to find ways to reduce its complexity. Idealization and the Aims of Science shows just how crucial idealization is to science and why it matters. Beginning with the acknowledgment of our status as limited human agents trying to make sense of an exceedingly complex world, Angela Potochnik moves on to explain (...)
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  42. added 2017-04-11
    Philosophy of History and History of Philosophy of Science.Thomas Uebel - 2017 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (1):1-30.
    hilosophy of history and history of philosophy of science make for an interesting case of “mutual containment”: the former is an object of inquiry for the latter, and the latter is subject to the demands of the former. This article discusses a seminal turn in past philosophy of history with an eye to the practice of historians of philosophy of science. The narrative turn by Danto and Mink represents both a liberation for historians and a new challenge to the objectivity (...)
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  43. added 2017-04-10
    Must Understanding Be Coherent?Kareem Khalifa - 2016 - In Stephen Grimm, Christoph Baumberger & Sabine Ammon (eds.), Explaining understanding: new perspectives from epistemology and philosophy of science. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 139-164.
    Several authors suggest that understanding and epistemic coherence are tightly connected. Using an account of understanding that makes no appeal to coherence, I explain away the intuitions that motivate this position. I then show that the leading coherentist epistemologies only place plausible constraints on understanding insofar as they replicate my own account’s requirements. I conclude that understanding is only superficially coherent.
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  44. added 2017-04-07
    Explanation and Understanding in the Human Sciences.Gurpreet Mahajan - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
    Which form of explanation is adequate for the humans sciences? Mahajan argues that social reality can be perceived in different ways--hermeneutic understanding, narrative, reason action and causal explanation--and each alters our perception of reality. A new chapter on poststructuralist and postmodern theories brings this important book up-to-date with current thinking.
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  45. added 2017-04-07
    Explanation, Understanding and Typical Action.Peter Manicas - 1997 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 27 (2&3):193–212.
    There are immense differences in the social sciences both as regards what is to be explained and how it is to be explained. I make an initial distinction between the understanding, construed roughly as acquiring a grasp of the generative mechanisms and structures at work in the world, natural and social, and explanation, which I construe as causal. I clarify several candidates for the objects of explanation and reject the idea that the “explanation of behavior”—if that means the acts of (...)
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  46. added 2017-04-07
    Understanding and Explanation. A Transcendental-Pragmatic Perspective.[author unknown] - 1988 - Studies in Soviet Thought 35 (1):57-61.
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  47. added 2017-04-07
    Understanding and Explanation: A Transcendental-Pragmatic Perspective.Georgia Warnke (ed.) - 1988 - MIT Press.
    The explanation versus understanding debate was important to the philosophy of the social sciences from the time of Dilthey and Weber through the work of Popper and Hempel. In recent years, with the development of interpretive approaches in hermeneutics, phenomenology, and language analysis, the problematic has become absolutely central. The broad literature to which it has given rise, while still split along "analytic" versus "continental" lines, shows increasing signs of a reunification in philosophy. G. H. von Wright's important book, Explanation (...)
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  48. added 2017-04-07
    Cause, Explanation, and Understanding In Science: Galileo’s Case.Maurice A. Finocchiaro - 1975 - Review of Metaphysics 29 (1):117 - 128.
    For example, from the point of view of pure conceptual analysis, since the reduction of what is not understood to what is understood is new understanding, explanation seems to involve growth of understanding. But is it the only kind of growth of understanding? It seems that explanation is quantitative growth of understanding. Could there be a qualitative growth of understanding and if so what would it be? And how would qualitative growth of understanding relate to explanation?
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  49. added 2017-04-06
    Scientific Understanding, Representation, and Explanation.Jan Faye - forthcoming - Epistemologia.
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  50. added 2017-04-06
    What is Understanding? An Overview of Recent Debates in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science.Christoph Baumberger, Claus Beisbart & Georg Brun - 2017 - In Stephen Grimm Christoph Baumberger & Sabine Ammon (eds.), Explaining Understanding: New Perspectives from Epistemolgy and Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 1-34.
    The paper provides a systematic overview of recent debates in epistemology and philosophy of science on the nature of understanding. We explain why philosophers have turned their attention to understanding and discuss conditions for “explanatory” understanding of why something is the case and for “objectual” understanding of a whole subject matter. The most debated conditions for these types of understanding roughly resemble the three traditional conditions for knowledge: truth, justification and belief. We discuss prominent views about how to construe these (...)
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