Is knowledge of causes sufficient for understanding?

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):291-313 (2019)
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ABSTRACT: According to a traditional account, understanding why X occurred is equivalent to knowing that X was caused by Y. This paper defends the account against a major objection, viz., knowing-that is not sufficient for understanding-why, for understanding-why requires a kind of grasp while knowledge-that does not. I discuss two accounts of grasp in recent literature and argue that if either is true, then knowing that X was caused by Y entails at least a rudimentary understanding of why X occurred. If my defense is successful, it would cast doubt on an influential account of the epistemic value of understanding.



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Xingming Hu
NanJing University

Citations of this work

How Values Shape the Machine Learning Opacity Problem.Emily Sullivan - 2022 - In Insa Lawler, Kareem Khalifa & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation. Routledge. pp. 306-322.

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References found in this work

True Enough.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2017 - Cambridge: MIT Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

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