EMU and inference: what the explanatory model of scientific understanding ignores

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (1):55-74 (2014)
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Abstract

The Explanatory Model of Scientific Understanding is a deflationary thesis recently advocated by Kareem Khalifa. EMU is committed to two key ideas: all understanding-relevant knowledge is propositional in nature; and the abilities we use to generate understanding are merely our usual logical reasoning skills. In this paper I provide an argument against both ideas, suggesting that scientific understanding requires a significant amount of non-propositional knowledge not captured by logical relations. I use the Inferential Model of Scientific Understanding to reveal how we can better represent what constitutes understanding a scientific event. In particular, this model accounts for not only logical and probabilistic inferences, but also those conceptual associations and categorizations we must make to comprehend an explanation.

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Mark Newman
Arkansas State University

Citations of this work

Understanding Why.Alison Hills - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):661-688.
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Theoretical Understanding in Science.Mark P. Newman - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2).
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