No understanding without explanation

Authors
Michael Strevens
New York University
Abstract
Scientific understanding, this paper argues, can be analyzed entirely in terms of a mental act of “grasping” and a notion of explanation. To understand why a phenomenon occurs is to grasp a correct explanation of the phenomenon. To understand a scientific theory is to be able to construct, or at least to grasp, a range of potential explanations in which that theory accounts for other phenomena. There is no route to scientific understanding, then, that does not go by way of scientific explanation.
Keywords Explanation  Understanding  Grasping
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2012.12.005
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References found in this work BETA

Is Understanding a Species of Knowledge?Stephen R. Grimm - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):515-535.
Explanatory Unification.Philip Kitcher - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.
Understanding and the Facts.Catherine Elgin - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 132 (1):33 - 42.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Role of Consciousness in Grasping and Understanding.David Bourget - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):285-318.
Scientific Progress: Knowledge Versus Understanding.Finnur Dellsén - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:72-83.
IV—Understanding and Knowing.Paulina Sliwa - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (1pt1):57-74.

View all 33 citations / Add more citations

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