Journal Article

Is Understanding A Species Of Knowledge?

Stephen R. Grimm

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 57, issue 3, pages 515-535
Published in print September 2006 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online July 2006 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI:
Is Understanding A Species Of Knowledge?

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Among philosophers of science there seems to be a general consensus that understanding represents a species of knowledge, but virtually every major epistemologist who has thought seriously about understanding has come to deny this claim. Against this prevailing tide in epistemology, I argue that understanding is, in fact, a species of knowledge: just like knowledge, for example, understanding is not transparent and can be Gettiered. I then consider how the psychological act of “grasping” that seems to be characteristic of understanding differs from the sort of psychological act that often characterizes knowledge.

Zagzebski's account

Kvanvig's account

Two problems

Comanche cases

Unreliable sources of information

The upper-right quadrant

So is understanding a species of knowledge?

A false choice

Journal Article.  9789 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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