Understanding and the facts
- Catherine Elgin
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If understanding is factive, the propositions that express an understanding are true. I argue that a factive conception of understanding is unduly restrictive. It neither reflects our practices in ascribing understanding nor does justice to contemporary science. For science uses idealizations and models that do not mirror the facts. Strictly speaking, they are false. By appeal to exemplification, I devise a more generous, flexible conception of understanding that accommodates science, reflects our practices, and shows a sufficient but not slavish sensitivity to the facts.
- Elgin, C. (2004). True enough. Philosophical Issues, 14, 113–131. CrossRef
- Elgin, C. (1996). Considered judgment. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Goodman, N. (1968). Languages of art. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.
- Kvanvig, J. (2003). Knowledge and understanding. In The value of knowledge and the pursuit of understanding (pp. 185–203). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Sellars, W. (1963). The language of theories. In Science, perception and reality (pp. 106–126). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
- Understanding and the facts
Volume 132, Issue 1 , pp 33-42
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- Springer Netherlands
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- Catherine Elgin (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Appian Way, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA