About this topic
Summary Understanding considered as an epistemic accomplishment.  Some of the relevant questions include: How does understanding differ (if at all) from other epistemic accomplishments such as knowledge or wisdom?  And what does it take to understand events in the world, as opposed to people, or languages, or works of art?
Key works Influential recent works include Zagzebski 2001, Kvanvig 2003, and Grimm 2006.
Introductions Grimm 2011 offers an overview of the literature.
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Contents
452 found
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  1. The Ontic Probability Interpretation of Quantum Theory - Part III: Schrödinger’s Cat and the ‘Basis’ and ‘Measurement’ Pseudo-Problems (2nd edition).Felix Alba-Juez - manuscript
    Most of us are either philosophically naïve scientists or scientifically naïve philosophers, so we misjudged Schrödinger’s “very burlesque” portrait of Quantum Theory (QT) as a profound conundrum. The clear signs of a strawman argument were ignored. The Ontic Probability Interpretation (TOPI) is a metatheory: a theory about the meaning of QT. Ironically, equating Reality with Actuality cannot explain actual data, justifying the century-long philosophical struggle. The actual is real but not everything real is actual. The ontic character of the Probable (...)
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  2. Resilient Understanding: The Value of Seeing for Oneself.Matthew Slater & Jason Leddington - manuscript
    The primary aim of this paper is to argue that the value of understanding derives in part from a kind of subjective stability of belief that we call epistemic resilience. We think that this feature of understanding has been overlooked by recent work, and we think it’s especially important to the value of understanding for social cognitive agents such as us. We approach the concept of epistemic resilience via the idea of the experience of epistemic ownership and argue that the (...)
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  3. Understanding, seeming and believing.Douglas Patterson - manuscript
    A short discussion of whether or not an error theorist of understanding should construe understanding in terms of belief. This is a comment on a discussion between Dean Pettit and Steven Gross.
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  4. Epistemic Value, Duty, and Virtue.Guy Axtell - forthcoming - In Brian C. Barnett (ed.), Introduction to Philosophy: Epistemology. Rebus Community.
    This chapter introduces some central issues in Epistemology, and, like others in the open textbook series Introduction to Philosophy, is set up for rewarding college classroom use, with discussion/reflection questions matched to clearly-stated learning objectives,, a brief glossary of the introduced/bolded terms/concepts, links to further open source readings as a next step, and a readily-accessible outline of the classic between William Clifford and William James over the "ethics of belief." The chapter introduces questions of epistemic value through Plato's famous example (...)
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  5. Afro-Latinx, Hispanic and Latinx Identity: Understanding the Americas.Eric Bayruns Garcia - forthcoming - Critical Philosophy of Race.
    I present a novel position vis-à-vis the views in the Latin American philosophy literature regarding whether subjects more aptly use "Hispanic" or "Latinx" to refer to Hispanic- or-Latinx people. To this end, I will argue (C) the term "Afro-Latinx" is more apt than "Hispanic" or "Latinx" in a significant number of cases. This conclusion is based on three premises. The first premise (P1) is that use of "Afro-Latinx" provides subjects with understanding of how certain events depend on anti-Black racism, US (...)
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  6. A Phenomenal Theory of Grasping and Understanding.David Bourget - forthcoming - In Andrei Ionuţ Mărăşoiu & Mircea Dumitru (eds.), Understanding and Conscious Experience: Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives. Routledge.
    There is a difference between merely thinking that P and really grasping that P. For example, Jackson's (1982) black-and-white Mary cannot (before leaving her black-and-white room) fully grasp what it means to say that fire engines are red, but she can perfectly well entertain the thought that fire engines are red. The contrast between merely thinking and grasping is especially salient in the context of certain moral decisions. For example, an individual who grasps the plight of starving children thanks to (...)
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  7. On Pritchard, Objectual Understanding and the Value Problem.J. Adam Carter & Emma C. Gordon - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Duncan Pritchard (2008, 2009, 2010, forthcoming) has argued for an elegant solution to what have been called the value problems for knowledge at the forefront of recent literature on epistemic value. As Pritchard sees it, these problems dissolve once it is recognized that that it is understanding-why, not knowledge, that bears the distinctive epistemic value often (mistakenly) attributed to knowledge. A key element of Pritchard’s revisionist argument is the claim that understanding-why always involves what he calls strong cognitive achievement—viz., cognitive (...)
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  8. Scientific Progress without Problems: A Reply to McCoy.Finnur Dellsén - forthcoming - In Insa Lawler, Kareem Khalifa & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences. Routledge.
    In the course of developing an account of scientific progress, C. D. McCoy (2022) appeals centrally to understanding as well as to problem-solving. On the face of it, McCoy’s account could thus be described as a kind of hybrid of the understanding-based account that I favor (Dellsén 2016, 2021) and the functional (a.k.a. problem-solving) account developed most prominently by Laudan (1977; see also Kuhn 1970; Shan 2019). In this commentary, I offer two possible interpretations of McCoy’s account and explain why (...)
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  9. What Is Philosophical Progress?Finnur Dellsén, Tina Firing, Insa Lawler & James Norton - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    What is it for philosophy to make progress? While various putative forms of philosophical progress have been explored in some depth, this overarching question is rarely addressed explicitly, perhaps because it has been assumed to be intractable or unlikely to have a single, unified answer. In this paper, we aim to show that the question is tractable, that it does admit of a single, unified answer, and that one such answer is plausible. This answer is, roughly, that philosophical progress consists (...)
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  10. Autonomy as Practical Understanding.Reza Hadisi - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    In this paper, I offer a theory of autonomous agency that relies on the re-sources of a strongly cognitivist theory of intention and intentional action. On the proposed account, intentional action is a graded notion that is ex-plained via the agent’s degree of practical knowledge. In turn, autonomous agency is also a graded notion that is explained via the agent’s degree of practical understanding. The resulting theory can synthesize insights from both the hierarchical and the cognitivist theories of autonomy with (...)
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  11. Understanding Philosophy.Michael Hannon & James Nguyen - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    What is the primary intellectual aim of philosophy? The standard view is that philosophy aims to provide true answers to philosophical questions. But if our aim is to settle controversy by answering such questions, our discipline is an embarrassing failure. Moreover, taking philosophy to aim at providing true answers to these questions leads to a variety of puzzles: How do we account for philosophical expertise? How is philosophical progress possible? Why do job search committees not care about the truth or (...)
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  12. Testimony, Understanding, and Art Criticism.Allan Hazlett - forthcoming - In Christy Mag Uidhir (ed.), Philosophy and Art: New Essays at the Intersection. Oxford University Press.
    I present a puzzle – the “puzzle of aesthetic testimony” – along with a solution to it that appeals to the impossibility of testimonial understanding. I'll criticize this solution by defending the possibility of testimonial understanding, including testimonial aesthetic understanding.
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  13. Imagination, Modal Knowledge, and Modal Understanding.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In Íngrid Vendrell-Ferran & Christiana Werner (eds.), Imagination and Experience: Philosophical Explorations. Routledge.
    Recent work on the imagination has stressed the epistemic significance of imaginative experiences, notably in justifying modal beliefs. An immediate problem with this is that modal beliefs appear to admit of justification through the mere exercise of rational capacities. For instance, mastery of the concepts of square, circle, and possibility should suffice to form the justified belief that a square circle is not possible, and mastery of the concepts of pig, flying, and possibility should suffice to form a justified belief (...)
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  14. Understanding and Conscious Experience: Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives.Andrei Ionuţ Mărăşoiu & Mircea Dumitru (eds.) - forthcoming - Routledge.
    This volume explores how understanding relates to conscious experience. In doing so, it builds bridges between different philosophical disciplines and provides a metaphysically robust characterization of understanding, both in and beyond science. The past two decades have witnessed growing interest from epistemologists, philosophers of science, philosophers of mind, and ethicists in the nature and value of intellectual understanding. This volume features original essays from leading scholars of understanding and the phenomenal experiences that underlie it. The chapters are divided into three (...)
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  15. Common knowledge. The development of understanding in the classroom.N. Mercer & D. Edwards - forthcoming - Common Knowledge: The Development of Understanding in the Classroom.
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  16. Practical Understanding, Rationality, and Social Critique.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - In Carla Bagnoli & Stefano Bacin (eds.), Reason, Agency and Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    In this essay, I will outline a novel strategy for using constitutivist ideas from Kantian metaethics to critique social practices and institutions. In doing so, I do not mean to defend this model of critique as the only viable form of social and political critique, even within a Kantian framework – nor, indeed, as always the most appropriate. But I hope to show that it provides us with a form of critique that allows us to (i) develop a robust critique (...)
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  17. Understanding with epistemic possibilities: The epistemic aim and value of metaphysics.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - forthcoming - Argumenta.
    According to a recent proposal, the epistemic aim of metaphysics as a discipline is to chart the different viable theories of metaphysical objects of inquiry (e.g. causation, persistence). This paper elaborates on and seeks to improve on that proposal in two related ways. First, drawing on an analogy with how-possibly explanation in science, I argue that we can usefully understand this aim of metaphysics as the charting of epistemically possible answers to metaphysical questions. Second, I argue that in order to (...)
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  18. Making Sense of Things: Moral Inquiry as Hermeneutical Inquiry.Paulina Sliwa - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    We are frequently confronted with moral situations that are unsettling, confusing, disorienting. We try to come to grips with them. When we do so, we engage in a distinctive type of moral inquiry: hermeneutical inquiry. Its aim is to make sense of our situation. What is it to make sense of one's situation? Hermeneutical inquiry is part of our everyday moral experience. Understanding its nature and its place in moral epistemology is important. Yet, I argue, that existing accounts of moral (...)
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  19. Explanation Hacking: The perils of algorithmic recourse.E. Sullivan & Atoosa Kasirzadeh - forthcoming - In Juan Manuel Durán & Giorgia Pozzi (eds.), Philosophy of science for machine learning: Core issues and new perspectives. Springer.
    We argue that the trend toward providing users with feasible and actionable explanations of AI decisions—known as recourse explanations—comes with ethical downsides. Specifically, we argue that recourse explanations face several conceptual pitfalls and can lead to problematic explanation hacking, which undermines their ethical status. As an alternative, we advocate that explanations of AI decisions should aim at understanding.
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  20. Do ML models represent their targets?Emily Sullivan - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    I argue that ML models used in science function as highly idealized toy models. If we treat ML models as a type of highly idealized toy model, then we can deploy standard representational and epistemic strategies from the toy model literature to explain why ML models can still provide epistemic success despite their lack of similarity to their targets.
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  21. Is there a defensible conception of reflective equilibrium?Claus Beisbart & Georg Brun - 2024 - Synthese 203 (3):1-26.
    The goal of this paper is to re-assess reflective equilibrium (“RE”). We ask whether there is a conception of RE that can be defended against the various objections that have been raised against RE in the literature. To answer this question, we provide a systematic overview of the main objections, and for each objection, we investigate why it looks plausible, on what standard or expectation it is based, how it can be answered and which features RE must have to meet (...)
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  22. Understanding and Testimony.Allan Hazlett - 2024 - In Jennifer Lackey & Aidan McGlynn (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    Can understanding be transmitted by testimony, in the same sense that propositional knowledge can be transmitted by testimony? Some contemporary philosophers – call them testimonial understanding pessimists – say No, and others – call them testimonial understanding optimists – say Yes. In this chapter I will articulate testimonial understanding pessimism (§1) and consider some arguments for it (§2).
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  23. Explainable AI and Causal Understanding: Counterfactual Approaches Considered.Sam Baron - 2023 - Minds and Machines 33 (2):347-377.
    The counterfactual approach to explainable AI (XAI) seeks to provide understanding of AI systems through the provision of counterfactual explanations. In a recent systematic review, Chou et al. (Inform Fus 81:59–83, 2022) argue that the counterfactual approach does not clearly provide causal understanding. They diagnose the problem in terms of the underlying framework within which the counterfactual approach has been developed. To date, the counterfactual approach has not been developed in concert with the approach for specifying causes developed by Pearl (...)
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  24. Grasping in Understanding.Miloud Belkoniene - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (3):603-617.
    There is, among philosophers involved in the debate concerning the nature and epistemology of understanding, a general recognition that this state has a grasping component that accounts for some of its distinctive features. This paper defends the view that this component of understanding consists of a knowledge of how to use a particular explanation to account for a given phenomenon. The way in which a subject acquires this knowledge is examined and the result of this examination is shown to highlight (...)
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  25. Reassessing Lucky Understanding.Miloud Belkoniene - 2023 - Episteme 20 (2):513-527.
    Knowledge is widely regarded as being incompatible with epistemic luck, but according to several philosophers, the same does not hold for understanding. This paper examines to what extent understanding is vulnerable to epistemic luck. After discussing the weaknesses of some of the cases that have been offered to support the conclusion that understanding tolerates environmental epistemic luck, I turn to a more recent one offered in favour of the opposite conclusion. I argue that this case does not manage to establish (...)
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  26. Confusion, Understanding and Success.Miloud Belkoniene - 2023 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 13 (1):44-60.
    The present paper examines a type of sceptical hypothesis put forward by Adam Carter that specifically targets understanding—the Confusion Hypothesis. After clarifying the nature and scope of that hypothesis, it discusses Carter’s favoured virtue perspectivist answer to the challenge it raises. It is argued that this answer is ultimately unsatisfying as it is unable to explain how a subject can obtain assurance that her grasp of a given body of information actually results from the competences she comes to appreciate as (...)
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  27. Identity and influence.Daniela Dover - 2023 - Synthese 202 (5):1-24.
    How worried should we be about how impressionable we are—how susceptible we are to being influenced and even transformed by our encounters with one another? Some moral philosophers think we should be quite worried indeed: they hold that interpersonal influence is an especially morally dangerous way to change. It calls for additional moral scrutiny as compared with vectors of change that come from within the influencee’s own psyche—their antecedent values, desires, commitments, and so forth—just because it has an external source. (...)
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  28. Two kinds of curiosity.Daniela Dover - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 108 (3):811-832.
    Leading philosophical models of curiosity represent it as a desiderative attitude whose content is a question, and which is satisfied by knowledge of the answer to that question. I argue that these models do not capture the distinctive character of a form of curiosity that I call 'erotic curiosity'. Erotic curiosity addresses itself not to a question but to an object whose significance for the inquirer is affective as well as epistemic. This form of curiosity is best understood by analogy (...)
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  29. Helping Others to Understand: A Normative Account of the Speech Act of Explanation.Grzegorz Gaszczyk - 2023 - Topoi 42 (2):385-396.
    This paper offers a normative account of the speech act of explanation with understanding as its norm. The previous accounts of the speech act of explanation rely on the factive notion of understanding and maintain that proper explanations require knowledge. I argue, however, that such accounts are too demanding and do not reflect the everyday practice of explanation and the attribution of understanding. Instead, I argue that the non-factive, objectual attitude of understanding is sufficient for a proper explanation. On the (...)
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  30. Therapeutic Conversational Artificial Intelligence and the Acquisition of Self-understanding.J. P. Grodniewicz & Mateusz Hohol - 2023 - American Journal of Bioethics 23 (5):59-61.
    In their thought-provoking article, Sedlakova and Trachsel (2023) defend the view that the status—both epistemic and ethical—of Conversational Artificial Intelligence (CAI) used in psychotherapy is complicated. While therapeutic CAI seems to be more than a mere tool implementing particular therapeutic techniques, it falls short of being a “digital therapist.” One of the main arguments supporting the latter claim is that even though “the interaction with CAI happens in the course of conversation… the conversation is profoundly different from a conversation with (...)
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  31. Suffering is bad.Louis Gularte - 2023 - Synthese 202 (6):1-28.
    Subtitle: "Experiential understanding and the impossibility of intrinsically valuing suffering." Suffering, I argue, is bad. This paper supports that claim by defending a somewhat bolder-sounding one: namely that if anyone—even a sadistic ‘amoralist’—fully understands the fact that someone else is suffering, then the only evaluative attitude they can possibly form towards the person’s suffering as such is that of being _intrinsically against_ it. I first argue that, necessarily, everyone is disposed to be intrinsically against their _own_ suffering experiences, holding fixed (...)
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  32. Thought Experiments as Tools of Theory Clarification.Grace Helton - 2023 - In Kevin McCain, Scott Stapleford & Matthias Steup (eds.), Seemings: New Arguments, New Angles. New York, NY: Routledge.
    It is widely presumed that intuitions about thought experiments can help overturn philosophical theories. It is also widely presumed, albeit implicitly, that if thought experiments play any epistemic role in overturning philosophical theories, it is via intuition. In this paper, I argue for a different, neglected epistemic role of philosophical thought experiments, that of improving some reasoner’s appreciation both of what a theory’s predictions consist in and of how those predictions tie to elements of the theory. I call this role (...)
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  33. Hot-cold empathy gaps and the grounds of authenticity.Grace Helton & Christopher Register - 2023 - Synthese 202 (5):1-24.
    Hot-cold empathy gaps are a pervasive phenomena wherein one’s predictions about others tend to skew ‘in the direction’ of one’s own current visceral states. For instance, when one predicts how hungry someone else is, one’s prediction will tend to reflect one’s own current hunger state. These gaps also obtain intrapersonally, when one attempts to predict what one oneself would do at a different time. In this paper, we do three things: We draw on empirical evidence to argue that so-called hot-cold (...)
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  34. The Epistemic Value of Understanding-why.Xingming Hu - 2023 - Episteme 20 (1):125-141.
    Some philosophers (e.g., Pritchard, Grimm, and Hills) recently have objected that veritism cannot explain the epistemic value of understanding-why. And they have proposed two anti-veritist accounts. In this paper, I first introduce their objection and argue that it fails. Next, I consider a strengthened version of their objection and argue that it also fails. After that, I suggest a new veritist account: Understanding-why entails believing the truth that what is grasped is accurate (or accurate enough), and it is this true (...)
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  35. Towards Ideal Understanding.Mario Hubert & Federica Isabella Malfatti - 2023 - Ergo 10 (22):578-611.
    What does it take to understand a phenomenon ideally, or to the highest conceivable extent? In this paper, we answer this question by arguing for five necessary conditions for ideal understanding: (i) representational accuracy, (ii) intelligibility, (iii) truth, (iv) reasonable endorsement, and (v) fitting. Even if one disagrees that there is some form of ideal understanding, these five conditions can be regarded as sufficient conditions for a particularly deep level of understanding. We then argue that grasping, novel predictions, and transparency (...)
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  36. How Science Tracks Understanding. [REVIEW]Federica Isabella Malfatti - 2023 - Philosophical Problems in Science (Zagadnienia Filozoficzne W Nauce) 74:317-320.
    This review article discusses the book Understanding How Science Explains the World by Kevin McCain, published by Cambridge University Press (2022). With an impressive combination of clarity and depth, McCain provides the reader with a firm grasp of how science works, of what science aims to achieve, and of what makes science a successful epistemic enterprise. The review article reconstructs the book’s overall dialectic and identifies one potential point of tension which concerns the role of truth or accuracy in scientific (...)
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  37. Understanding the Progress of Science.C. D. McCoy - 2023 - In Kareem Khalifa, Insa Lawler & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences. Routledge. pp. 353-369.
    Philosophical debates on how to account for the progress of science have traditionally divided along the realism-anti-realism axis. Relatively recent developments in epistemology, however, have opened up a new knowledge-understanding axis to the debate. This chapter presents a novel understanding-based account of scientific progress that takes its motivation from problem-solving practices in science. Problem-solving is characterized as a means of measuring degree of understanding, which is argued to be the principal epistemic (or cognitive) aim of science, over and against knowledge. (...)
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  38. Rational Understanding: From Explanation to Knowledge.Belkoniene Miloud - 2023 - New York: Routledge.
    This book develops a novel account of the connections between justification, understanding, and knowledge. It lays the foundation for a more systematic and interconnected treatment of these central notions in epistemology. -/- The author’s key move is to show first that a specific conception of doxastic justification constitutes our best point of entry into questions pertaining to a subject’s ability to secure understanding of reality. Second, that the traditional order of analysis when it comes to the connection between understanding and (...)
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  39. I Feel You: Toward a Schelerian Conception of Empathy.Jean Moritz Müller - 2023 - In Thomas Petraschka & Christiana Werner (eds.), Empathy's Role in Understanding Persons, Literature and Art. New York: Routledge. pp. 272-295.
    In his The Nature of Sympathy, Max Scheler (2007 [1923]) offers an intriguing, if puzzling, account of empathy. According to this account, empathy is a specific kind of feeling through which we are immediately aware of others’ emotions but which is not itself an emotion and doesn’t require us to have those emotions ourselves. Moreover, qua immediate awareness of others’ emotions empathy is supposed to afford understanding why they feel those emotions. Although having echoes with ordinary discourse and experience, Scheler's (...)
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  40. Form and Content: A Defence of Aesthetic Value in Science.Alice Murphy - 2023 - Philosophy of Science:1-26.
    Those who wish to defend the role of aesthetic values in science face a dilemma: Either aesthetic language is used metaphorically for what are ultimately epistemic features, or aesthetic language is used literally but it is difficult to see the importance of such values in science. I introduce a new account that gets around this problem by looking to an overlooked source of aesthetic value in science: the relation between form and content. I argue that a fit between the content (...)
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  41. Understanding Misunderstanding.Gilad Nir - 2023 - In Carla Carmona, David Perez-Chico & Chon Tejedor (eds.), Intercultural Understanding After Wittgenstein. Anthem.
    Wittgenstein seeks to throw light on our concept of understanding by looking at how misunderstandings arise and what kinds of failure they involve. He discerns a peculiar sort of misunderstanding in the writings of the social anthropologist James Frazer. In Frazer’s hands, the anthropological project of enabling us to understand human behavior seems to yield the result that there are certain forms of human behavior that simply cannot be understood. The source of Frazer’s misunderstanding, according to Wittgenstein, is that he (...)
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  42. Kant on Reason as the Capacity for Comprehension.Karl Schafer - 2023 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (4):844-862.
    This essay develops an interpretation of Kant’s conception of the faculty of reason as the capacity for what he calls "comprehension" (Begreifen). In doing so, it first discusses Kant's characterizations of reason in relation to what he describes as the two highest grades of cognition—insight and comprehension. Then it discusses how the resulting conception of reason relates to more familiar characterizations as the faculty for inference and the faculty of principles. In doing so, it focuses on how the idea of (...)
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  43. Schopenhauer's Theory of Science.Timothy Stoll - 2023 - In David Bather Woods & Timothy Stoll (eds.), The Schopenhauerian mind. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 53–67.
  44. Understanding as Usability and Context-Sensitivity to Interests.Andreas Søndergaard - 2023 - Philosophia 51 (5):2603-2623.
    Is understanding subject to a factivity constraint? That is, must the agent’s representation of some subject matter be accurate in order for her to understand that subject matter? ‘No’, I argue in this paper. As an alternative, I formulate a novel manipulationist account of understanding. Rather than correctly representing, understanding, on this account, is a matter of being able to manipulate a representation of the world to satisfy contextually salient interests. This account of understanding is preferable to factivism, I argue, (...)
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  45. Mind as Metaphor: A Defence of Mental Fictionalism.Adam Toon - 2023 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    This book develops a new approach to the mind called mental fictionalism. The key idea behind this approach is that the mind is a useful fiction. The book begins with our ordinary conception of the mind (known as folk psychology). At present, the dominant interpretation of folk psychology sees it as an attempt to describe our inner machinery (a view the author calls Cartesianism). The representational theory of mind (or representationalism) argues that our folk theory is true, and that our (...)
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  46. Empathy and the Value of Humane Understanding.Olivia Bailey - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (1):50-65.
    Empathy is a form of emotionally charged imaginative perspective‐taking. It is also the unique source of a particular form of understanding, which I will call humane understanding. Humane understanding consists in the direct apprehension of the intelligibility of others’ emotions. This apprehension is an epistemic good whose ethical significance is multifarious. In this paper, I focus on elaborating the sense in which humane understanding of others is non‐instrumentally valuable to its recipients. People have a complex but profound need to be (...)
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  47. The rational dimension of understanding.Miloud Belkoniene - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-16.
    It is natural to regard understanding as having a rational dimension, in the sense that understanding seems to require having justification for holding certain beliefs about the world. Some philosophers however argue that justification is not required to gain understanding of phenomena. In the present paper, my intention is to provide a critical examination of the arguments that have been offered against the view that understanding requires justification in order to show that, contrary to what they purport to establish, justification (...)
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  48. Unrealistic Models in Mathematics.William D'Alessandro - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint.
    Models are indispensable tools of scientific inquiry, and one of their main uses is to improve our understanding of the phenomena they represent. How do models accomplish this? And what does this tell us about the nature of understanding? While much recent work has aimed at answering these questions, philosophers' focus has been squarely on models in empirical science. I aim to show that pure mathematics also deserves a seat at the table. I begin by presenting two cases: Cramér’s random (...)
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  49. The Noetic Approach: Scientific Progress as Enabling Understanding.Finnur Dellsén - 2022 - In Yafeng Shan (ed.), New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. Routledge. pp. 62-81.
    Roughly, the noetic account characterizes scientific progress in terms of increased understanding. This chapter outlines a version of the noetic account according to which scientific progress on some phenomenon consists in making scientific information publicly available so as to enable relevant members of society to increase their understanding of that phenomenon. This version of the noetic account is briefly compared with four rival accounts of scientific progress, viz. the truthlikeness account, the problem-solving account, the new functional account, and the epistemic (...)
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  50. Understanding and scientific progress: lessons from epistemology.Nicholas Emmerson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
    Contemporary debate surrounding the nature of scientific progress has focused upon the precise role played by justification, with two realist accounts having dominated proceedings. Recently, however, a third realist account has been put forward, one which offers no role for justification at all. According to Finnur Dellsén’s (Stud Hist Philos Sci Part A 56:72–83, 2016) noetic account, science progresses when understanding increases, that is, when scientists grasp how to correctly explain or predict more aspects of the world that they could (...)
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