Authors
Steffen Ducheyne
University of Ghent
Abstract
In this essay, I attempt to assess Henk de Regt and Dennis Dieks recent pragmatic and contextual account of scientific understanding on the basis of an important historical case-study: understanding in Newton's theory of universal gravitation and Huygens' reception of universal gravitation. It will be shown that de Regt and Dieks' Criterion for the Intelligibility of a Theory, which stipulates that the appropriate combination of scientists' skills and intelligibility-enhancing theoretical virtues is a condition for scientific understanding, is too strong. On the basis of this case-study, it will be shown that scientists can understand each others' positions qualitatively and quantitatively, despite their endorsement of different worldviews and despite their convictions as what counts as a proper explanation.
Keywords Philosophy   Social Sciences, general   Methodology of the Social Sciences   Philosophy of Education   History   Philosophy of Science
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-009-9096-y
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References found in this work BETA

Explaining Science: A Cognitive Approach.Jeffrey S. Poland - 1988 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):653-656.
Scientific Explanation and the Sense of Understanding.J. D. Trout - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):212-233.
Newton as Philosopher.Andrew Janiak - 2008 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Newton on Action at a Distance and the Cause of Gravity.Steffen Ducheyne - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):154-159.
Gravity and De Gravitatione: The Development of Newton’s Ideas on Action at a Distance.John Henry - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):11-27.

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