Philosophical Studies 175 (1):221-240 (2018)

Authors
Emily Sullivan
Eindhoven University of Technology
Abstract
There is considerable agreement among epistemologists that certain abilities are constitutive of understanding-why. These abilities include: constructing explanations, drawing conclusions, and answering questions. This agreement has led epistemologists to conclude that understanding is a kind of know-how. However, in this paper, I argue that the abilities constitutive of understanding are the same kind of cognitive abilities that we find in ordinary cases of knowledge-that and not the kind of practical abilities associated with know-how. I argue for this by disambiguating between different senses of abilities that are too often lumped together. As a consequence, non-reductionists about understanding—those that claim that understanding-why is not reducible to knowledge-that—need to find another way to motivate the view. In the end, the fact that abilities are constitutive of understanding-why does not give us reason to conclude that understanding is a kind of know-how.
Keywords Understanding
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-0863-z
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References found in this work BETA

Knowing How.Jason Stanley & Timothy Willlamson - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (8):411-444.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.
Understanding Why.Alison Hills - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):661-688.

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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.
Is Knowledge of Causes Sufficient for Understanding?Xingming Hu - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):291-313.

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