In what sense is understanding an intellectual virtue?
- 76 Downloads
In this paper, I distinguish between two senses of “understanding”: understanding as an epistemic good and understanding as a character trait or a distinctive power of the mind. I argue that understanding as a character trait or a distinctive power of the mind is an intellectual virtue while understanding as an epistemic good is not. Finally, I show how the distinction can help us better appreciate Aristotle’s account of intellectual virtue.
KeywordsUnderstanding Grasp Intellectual virtue Epistemic value
For comments on earlier drafts or conversations on related topics, I would like to thank Shuyi Feng, Stephen Grimm, Siyi Hu, Xuya Ma, Yue Wang, Ru Ye, and two anonymous reviewers. My work on this paper was supported by two programs of the National Social Science Fund of China: the Young Scholars Program [16CZX046] and the Major Program [18ZDA031].
- Baehr, J. (2017). Intellectual virtues and truth, understanding, and wisdom. In N. E. Snow (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of virtue. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Burnyeat, M. (1981). Aristotle on understanding knowledge. In E. Berti (Ed.), Aristotle on science: The Posterior analytics. Editrice Antenoire: Padua.Google Scholar
- Collingwood, R. G. (1946/1994). The idea of history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Elgin, C. (2017). Understanding. In E. Craig (Ed.), The Routledge encyclopedia of philosophy. New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
- Goldman, A. (2001). The unity of the epistemic virtues. In A. Fairweather & L. Zagzebski (Eds.), Virtue epistemology: Essays on epistemic value and responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Gordon, R. (2000). Simulation and the explanation of action. In H. Kogler & K. Stueber (Eds.), Empathy and agency: The problem of understanding in the human sciences. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
- Greco, J. (2002). Virtues in epistemology. In P. K. Moser (Ed.), Oxford handbook of epistemology. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Grimm, S. R. (2011). Understanding. In D. Pritchard & S. Berneker (Eds.), The Routledge companion to epistemology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Grimm, S. R. (2016b). Understanding and transparency. In R. Stephen, C. Baumberger, & S. Ammon (Eds.), Explaining Understanding: New Perspectives From Epistemology and Philosophy of Science. Routledge.Google Scholar
- Grimm, S. (2019). Understanding as an intellectual virtue. In H. Battaly (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of virtue epistemology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Grimm, S. (forthcoming). Transmitting understanding and know-how. In S. Hetherington (Ed.), What the ancients offer to contemporary epistemology. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Hills, A. (2015). Understanding why. Noûs, 49(2), 661–688.Google Scholar
- Hu, X. (2019a). Two kinds of understanding (Liang Zhong Li Jie). Journal of Dialectics of Nature, 41(5), 26–32.Google Scholar
- Kosman, A. (2014). Understanding, explanation, and insight in Aristotle’s posterior analytics. In Virtues of thought: Essays on Plato and Aristotle. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Kotsonis, A. (forthcoming). The Platonic conception of intellectual virtues: its significance for virtue epistemology. Synthese 1–16.Google Scholar
- Montmarquet, J. A. (1993). Epistemic virtue and doxastic responsibility. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
- Roberts, R. C., & Wood, W. J. (2007). Intellectual virtues: An essay in regulative epistemology. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Schafer, K. (forthcoming a). A Kantian virtue epistemology: Rational capacities and transcendental arguments. Synthese 1–24.Google Scholar
- Schafer, K. (forthcoming b). Kant’s conception of cognition and our knowledge of things-in-themselves. Manuscript.Google Scholar
- Schwab, W. (2015). Explanation in the epistemology of the Meno. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 48, 1–36.Google Scholar
- Turri, J., Alfano, M., & Greco, J. (2018). Virtue Epistemology. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Summer 2018 Edition). retrieved November 2, 2018 from https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2018/entries/epistemology-virtue/.
- Woodward, J. (2003). Making things happen. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Zagzebski, L. (2001). Recovering understanding. In M. Steup (Ed.), Knowledge, truth, and duty: Essays on epistemic justification, responsibility, and virtue. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar