Abstract

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.

  1. Zagzebski's account

  2. Kvanvig's account

  3. Two problems

  4. Comanche cases

  5. Unreliable sources of information

  6. The upper-right quadrant

  7. So is understanding a species of knowledge?

  8. A false choice

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