Understanding does not depend on (causal) explanation
One can find in the literature two sets of views concerning the relationship between understanding and explanation: that one understands only if 1) one has knowledge of causes and 2) that knowledge is provided by an explanation. Taken together, these tenets characterize what I call the narrow knowledge account of understanding (narrow KAU). While the first tenet has recently come under severe attack, the second has been more resistant to change. I argue that we have good reasons to reject it on the basis of theoretical models that provide how-possibly explanations. These models, while they do not explain in the strict (narrow KAU) sense, afford understanding. In response, I propose an alternative epistemology of understanding, broad KAU, that takes cases of theoretical modelling into account.
|Keywords||Explanation, How-possibly explanations, Models, Non-causal, Understanding|
|Persistent URL||dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13194-018-0240-6, hdl.handle.net/1765/114517|
|Journal||European Journal for Philosophy of Science|
Verreault-Julien, P. (2019). Understanding does not depend on (causal) explanation. European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 9(2). doi:10.1007/s13194-018-0240-6