Synthese 192 (12):3859-3875 (2015)

Adam Toon
University of Exeter
Recent work in epistemology and philosophy of science has argued that understanding is an important cognitive state that philosophers should seek to analyse. This paper offers a new perspective on understanding by looking to work in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Understanding is normally taken to be inside the head. I argue that this view is mistaken. Often, understanding is a state that criss-crosses brain, body and world. To support this claim, I draw on extended cognition, a burgeoning framework in cognitive science that stresses the crucial role played by tools, material representations and the wider environment in our cognitive processes. I defend an extended view of understanding against likely objections and argue that it has important consequences for questions concerning the nature of understanding and its relationship to explanation
Keywords Understanding  Explanation  Situated cognition  Extended cognition  Extended mind
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0702-8
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Scientific Perspectivism.Ronald N. Giere - 2006 - University of Chicago Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Music as Affective Scaffolding.Joel Krueger - forthcoming - In David Clarke, Ruth Herbert & Eric Clarke (eds.), Music and Consciousness II. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Aesthetic Values in Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (10):e12433.
Musical Worlds and the Extended Mind.Joel Krueger - 2018 - Proceedings of A Body of Knowledge - Embodied Cognition and the Arts Conference CTSA UCI, 8-10 Dec 2016.
On the Hidden Thought Experiments of Economic Theory.Johanna Thoma - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (2):129-146.
Mechanisms, Models and Laws in Understanding Supernovae.Phyllis Illari - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (1):63-84.

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