Chapter

Recovering Understanding

Linda Zagzebski

in Knowledge, Truth, and Duty

Published in print March 2001 | ISBN: 9780195128925
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833764 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195128923.003.0015
Recovering Understanding

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Proposes an analysis of the concept of understanding. Finds three important, relevant strands of thought in the works of Plato and Aristotle, among which the most important one is that understanding involves representing the world nonpropositionally, e.g. through visualization or diagrams. Taking this to be the defining characteristic, proposes that understanding is a state of comprehending nonpropositional structures of reality, such as automobiles, pieces of music or art, the character of a person, or a causal nexus. Argues that virtue epistemology is better suited than traditional epistemology to help us develop a successful analysis of understanding thus conceived. For unlike the theories from which it departs, virtue epistemology takes the objects of valuable epistemic states to consist of both propositional and nonpropositional objects.

Keywords: death of epistemology; knowledge; nonpropositional representation; techne; understanding; virtue epistemology

Chapter.  9618 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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