Stephen Grimm
Fordham University
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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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.10.006
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References found in this work BETA

Explanation and Scientific Understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
Explanatory Unification and the Causal Structure of the World.Philip Kitcher - 1989 - In Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.), Scientific Explanation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 410-505.
Causal Explanation.David K. Lewis - 1986 - In David Lewis (ed.), Philosophical Papers Vol. Ii. Oxford University Press. pp. 214-240.

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Citations of this work BETA

Understanding From Machine Learning Models.Emily Sullivan - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz035.
Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):302-321.
Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:1-22.

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