Explaining Understanding

Explaining Understanding : New Perspectives from Epistemology and Philosophy of Science

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What does it mean to understand something? What types of understanding can be distinguished? Is understanding always provided by explanations? And how is it related to knowledge? Such questions have attracted considerable interest in epistemology recently. These discussions, however, have not yet engaged insights about explanations and theories developed in philosophy of science. Conversely, philosophers of science have debated the nature of explanations and theories, while dismissing understanding as a psychological by-product. In this book, epistemologists and philosophers of science together address basic questions about the nature of understanding, providing a new overview of the field. False theories, cognitive bias, transparency, coherency, and other important issues are discussed. Its 15 original chapters are essential reading for researchers and graduate students interested in the current debates about understanding.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 354 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.4mm | 612.35g
  • Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 5 black & white illustrations, 1 black & white tables, 5 black & white line drawings
  • 1138921939
  • 9781138921931

About Stephen R. Grimm

Stephen R. Grimm is Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame, his B.A. from Williams College, and he works mainly in epistemology, the philosophy of science, and ethics. Christoph Baumberger is Senior Researcher at the Institute for Environmental Decisions at ETH Zurich. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich, and he has published in epistemology, philosophy of science, aesthetics, and philosophy of architecture. Sabine Ammon works at the Berlin University of Technology as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow, funded by the European Union. She received her Ph.D. from Berlin University of Technology. She works mainly in epistemology, philosophy of engineering sciences and technology, image theory, and design ethics.show more

Review quote

"Recent epistemology has drawn increasing attention to the upper normative dimensions of the life of the mind. At the center of these discussions has been a concern with understanding conceived of as a state superior to true belief, justified belief, and even knowledge. The present volume advances previous discussions of understanding along several fronts. It brings together leading epistemologists and philosophers of science to address such issues as the relationship between understanding and truth, the nature and structure of the justificatory element of understanding, whether understanding requires knowledge (or even belief), and much more. The volume is very well-organized and the chapters complement and engage each other in interesting and fruitful ways. It provides anyone with an interest in philosophical issues related to understanding with a great deal to think about and learn from." Jason Baehr, Loyola Marymount University, USAshow more

Table of contents

List of Contributors Acknowledgements Guide to the Essays 1 What is Understanding? An Overview of Recent Debates in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science Christoph Baumberger, Claus Beisbart and Georg Brun Part I Understanding and the Facts 2 How Idealization Provide Understanding Michael Strevens 3 How False Theories can Yield Genuine Understanding Henk W. de Regt and Victor Gijsbers 4 Exemplification in Understanding Catherine Z. Elgin 5 Explaining Understanding, Understanding Knowledge Sabine Ammon 6 Enlightening Falsehoods: A Model View of Scientific Understanding Soazig Le Bihan Part II Understanding and its Norms 7 Must Understanding be Coherent? Kareem Khalifa 8 Dimensions of Objectual Understanding Christoph Baumberger and Georg Brun 9 An Evidentialist Account of Explanatory Understanding Mark Newman 10 Understanding and Transparency Stephen R. Grimm 11 Satisfying Understanding John Greco Part III Understanding and the Epistemic Agent 12 Towards a Knowledge-Based Account of Understanding Christoph Kelp 13 Cognitive Bias, Scepticism and Understanding J. Adam Carter and Duncan Pritchard 14 Social Epistemology and the Acquisition of Understanding Emma C. Gordon 15 Understanding without Believing Daniel A. Wilkenfeld Indexshow more

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