, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 57–60 | Cite as

Understanding, explanation, and intelligibility

Henk de Regt: Understanding scientific understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, xii+301pp, £ 47.99HB
  • Insa LawlerEmail author
Book Review

Science aims at understanding phenomena. One natural candidate for illuminating scientific understanding is explanation. Certainly, an explanation could contribute to someone’s understanding. But it is controversial whether explanations must produce understanding, whether understanding always involves some explanation, and whether there can be understanding without explanation. In Understanding Scientific Understanding, Henk de Regt sheds light on the relation between explanation and understanding by offering a unique account of scientific understanding, with an eye on howunderstanding is achieved. This account—which draws on two decades of his research—is presented in a form that is pleasant to read, accessible to a variety of readers, embedded in the longstanding philosophical debate about scientific explanations, and buttressed with numerous examples and three in-depth case studies from the history of physics. Although de Regt every so often points to examples from other sciences,...


  1. Khalifa, Kareem. 2017. Review of Henk de Regt’s Understanding Scientific Understanding. In Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. Accessed 16 Feb 2018.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy IIRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany

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