Understanding and Conscious Experience: Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives

Routledge (forthcoming)
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Abstract

This volume explores how understanding relates to conscious experience. In doing so, it builds bridges between different philosophical disciplines and provides a metaphysically robust characterization of understanding, both in and beyond science. The past two decades have witnessed growing interest from epistemologists, philosophers of science, philosophers of mind, and ethicists in the nature and value of intellectual understanding. This volume features original essays from leading scholars of understanding and the phenomenal experiences that underlie it. The chapters are divided into three thematic sections. Part 1 provides theoretical characterizations of understanding, including Henk de Regt’s defense of a contextual theory of scientific understanding and a debate whether scientific inference and explanatory power are necessary or central features of understanding. Part 2 explores how conscious experience and understanding are related. The chapters articulate a phenomenal theory of understanding and address themes that are connected to understanding, including awareness, transformative experiences, and exemplification. Finally, Part 3 is devoted to domain-specific inquiries about understanding, such as logical proofs, particle physics, cognitive enhancement, and moral understanding.

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Author Profiles

Andrei Mărăşoiu
University of Bucharest
Mircea Dumitru
University of Bucharest

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