Finally, Section 6 proposes various potential avenues for future research, with an eye towards anticipating how considerations relating to understanding might shed light on a range of live debates elsewhere in epistemology and in philosophy more generally. By contrast, the paradigmatic case of environmental epistemic luck is the famous barn faade case (for example, Ginet 1975; Goldman 1979), a case where what an agent looks at is a genuine barn which unbeknownst to the individual is surrounded by faades which are indistinguishable to the agent from the genuine barn. In other words, one mistakenly take knowledge to be distinctively valuable only because knowledge often does have somethingcognitive achievementwhich is essential to understanding and which is finally valuable. Toon (2015) has recently suggested, with reference to the hypothesis of extended cognition, that understanding can be located partly outside the head. Pritchard, D. The Value of Knowledge: Understanding. In A. Haddock, A. Millar and D. Pritchard (eds. Discusses and defines ability in the sense often appealed to in work on cognitive ability and the value of knowledge. He argues that what is grasped or seen when one attains a priori knowledge is not a proposition but a certain modal relationship between properties, objects or identities. The childs opinion displays some grasp of evolution. NY: Cambridge University Press, 2003. London: Routledge, 2009. Pritchard, meanwhile, claims that the matter of understandings compatibility with epistemic luck can be appreciated only against the background of a distinction between two kinds of epistemic luckintervening and environmentalboth of which are incompatible with knowledge. For example, we might require that the agent make sense of X in a way that is reasonablefew would think that the psychic above is reasonable, though it is beyond the scope of the current discussion to stray into exploring accounts of reasonableness. Open Document. Section 2 explores the connection between understanding and truth, with an eye to assessing in virtue of what understanding might be defended as factive. Hempel, C. Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science. Scotland, U.K. A Weak Factivity Constraint on Objectual Understanding, Moderate Views of Objectual Understandings Factivity, Understanding as Representation Manipulability, Understanding as Well-Connected Knowledge, Understanding as (Partially) Compatible with Epistemic Luck, Newer Defenses of Understandings Compatibility with Epistemic Luck. Sliwa 2015, however, defends a stronger view, according to which propositional knowledge is necessary and sufficient for understanding. Bradford, G. Achievement. Or, should we adopt a more relaxed view of what would be required to satisfy this conditionnamely, a view that focuses on the way the agent connects information. According to Goldman (1991) curiosity is a desire for true belief; by contrast, Williamson views curiosity as a desire for knowledge. Section 4 examines the relationship between understanding and types of epistemic luck that are typically thought to undermine knowledge. As Lackey thinks students can come to know evolutionary theory from this teacher despite the teacher not knowing the propositions she asserts (given that the Stella fails the belief condition for knowledge), we might likewise think, and contra Morris, that Stella might fail to understand evolution. . 1. Drawing from Stanley and Williamson, she makes the distinction between knowing a proposition under a practical mode of presentation and knowing it under a theoretical mode of presentation. Stanley and Williamson admit that the former is especially tough to spell out (see Glick 2014 for a recent discussion), but it must surely involve having complex dispositions, and so it is perhaps possible to know some proposition under only one of these modes of presentation (that is, by lacking the relevant dispositions, or something else). Since Kvanvig claims that the coherence-making relationships that are traditionally construed as necessary for justification on a coherentist picture are the very relations that one grasps (for example, the objects of grasping) when one understands, the justification literature may be a promising place to begin. The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Understanding. Early defence of explanations key role in understanding. There is arguably a further principled reason that an overly weak view of the factivity of understanding will not easily be squared with pretheoretical intuitions about understanding. What is the grasping relation? Here is one potential example to illustrate this point: consider that it is not clear that people who desire to understand chemistry generally care about the cause of chemistry. While Pritchard can agree with Rohwers conclusion that understanding (and specifically as Rohwer is interested in, scientific understanding) is not a species of knowledge, the issue of adjudicating between Rohwers intuition in the case of unifying understanding and the diagnosis Pritchard will be committed to in such a case is complicated. How should an account of objectual understanding incorporate these types of observationsnamely, where the falsity of a central belief or central beliefs appears compatible with the retention of some degree of understanding? It is plausible that a factivity constraint would also be an important necessary condition on objectual understanding, but there is more nuanced debate about the precise sense in which this might be the case. endangered species in the boreal forest; etown high school basketball roster. The topic of epistemic value has only relatively recently received sustained attention in mainstream epistemology. Orand this is a point that has received little attentioneven more weakly, can the true beliefs be themselves unreliably formed or held on the basis of bad reasons. Epistemology is often defined as the theory of knowledge, and talk of propositional knowledge (that is, S knows that p) has dominated the bulk of modern literature in epistemology. The ambiguity between assenting to a necessary proposition and the grasping or seeing of certain properties and their necessary relatedness mirrors the ambiguity between assenting to a casual proposition and grasping or seeing of the terms of the causal relata: their modal relatedness. In particular, he wants to propose a non-propositional view that has at its heart seeing or grasping, of the terms of the casual relata, their modal relatedness, which he suggests amounts to seeing or grasping how things might have been if certain conditions had been different. To be clear, the nuanced view Grimm suggests is that while understanding is a kind of knowledge of causes, it is not propositional knowledge of causes but rather non-propositional knowledge of causes, where the non-propositional knowledge is itself unpacked as a kind of ability or know-how. Olsson, E. Coherentist Theories of Epistemic Justification in E. Zalta (ed. A good example here is what Riggs (2003) calls intelligibility, a close cousin of understanding that also implies a grasp of order, pattern and connection, but does not seem to require a substantial connection to truth. Having abandoned the commitment to absolute space, current astronomers can no longer say that the Earth travels around the sun simpliciter, but must talk about how the Earth and the sun move relative to each other. Must they be known or can they be Gettiered true beliefs? In such a parallel case, we simply modify Lackeys original case and suppose that Stella, a creationist teacher, who does not believe in evolution, nonetheless teaches it reliably and in accordance with the highest professional standards. This section considers the connection between understanding-why and truth, and then engages with the more complex issue of whether objectual understanding is factive. On such an interpretation, explanationism can be construed as offering a simple answer to the object question discussed above: the object of understanding-relevant grasping would, on this view, be explanations. Meanwhile, he suggests that were you to ask a fake fire officer who appeared to you to be a real officer and just happened to give the correct answer, it is no longer plausible (by Pritchards lights) that you have understanding-why. In the study of epistemology, philosophers are concerned with the epistemological shift. If Hills is right about this connection between grasping and possessing abilities, it might seem as though understanding-why is, at the end of the day, very similar to knowing-how (see, however, Sullivan 2017 for resistance to this suggestion).. As it were, from the inside, these can be indistinguishable much as, from the first-person perspective, mere true belief and knowledge can be indistinguishable. Stanley, J and Williamson, T. Knowing How. Journal of Philosophy 98(8) (2001): 411-444. Cases of intervening luck taketo use a simple examplethe familiar pattern of Chisholms sheep in a field case, where an agent sees a sheep-shaped rock which looks just like a sheep, and forms the belief There is a sheep. Moral Testimony and Moral Epistemology. Ethics 120 (2009): 94-127. Therefore, the need to adopt a weak factivity constraint on objectual understandingat least on the basis of cases that feature idealizationslooks at least initially to be unmotivated in the absence of a more sophisticated view about the relationship between factivity, belief and acceptance (however, see Elgin 2004). Due to the possibility of overly simple or passive successes qualifying as cognitive achievements (for example, coming to truly believe that it is dark just by looking out of the window in normal conditions after 10pm), Pritchard cautions that we should distinguish between two classes of cognitive achievementstrong and weak: Weak cognitive achievement: Cognitive success that is because of ones cognitive ability. Consequently, engaging with the project of clarifying and exploring the epistemic states or states attributed when we attribute understanding is a complex matter. He considers that grasping might be a modal sense or ability that allows the understander to, over and above registering how things are. To defend the claim that possessing the kinds of abilities Hills draws attention to is not a matter of simply having extra items of knowledgeshe notes that one could have the extra items of knowledge and still lack the good judgment that allows you to form new, related true beliefs. Another seemingly promising lineone that engages with the relation question discussed aboveviews grasping as intimately connected with a certain set of abilities. However, epistemologists have recently started to turn more attention to the epistemic state or states of understanding, asking questions about its nature, relationship to knowledge, connection with explanation, and potential status as a special type of cognitive achievement. If we consider some goalsuch as the successful completion of a coronary bypassit is obvious that our attitude towards the successful coronary bypass is different when the completion is a matter of ability as opposed to luck. While the matter of how to think about the incompatibility of knowledge with epistemic luck remains a contentious pointfor instance, here modal accounts (for example, Pritchard 2005) are at odds with lack-of-control accounts (for example, Riggs 2007), few contemporary epistemologists dissent from the comparatively less controversial claim that knowledge excludes luck in a way that true beliefs and sometimes even justified true beliefs do not (see Hetherington (2013) for a dissenting position). Establishes a pro position, supporting that the shift in how people take in knowledge is good. Achievements, unlike mere successes, are regarded as valuable for their own sake, mainly because of the way in which these special sorts of successes come to be. Her main supporting example is of understanding the rate at which objects in a vacuum fall toward the earth (that is, 32 feet per second), a belief that ignores the gravitational attraction of everything except the earth and so is therefore not true. Proposes an account of understandings value that is related to its connection with curiosity. In particular, one might be tempted to suggest that some of the objections raised to Grimms non-propositional knowledge-of-causes model could be recast as objections to Khalifas own explanation-based view.