Konferenz, Wissenschaftsphilosophie

Towards an Epistemology of Understanding - Rethinking Justification

Freitag, 21.03.2014 - Samstag, 22.03.2014

Datum: 21.03.2014 - 22.03.2014
Merkmale: Öffentlich

Our epistemic endeavours do not only aim at knowledge and rational belief. We also want to understand what we believe. We search for explanations of facts we know and for theories which organize our knowledge. But what indicates whether an explanation is appropriate or whether a theory really advances our understanding? These questions bring justification to the fore, an aspect of understanding which has hardly been addressed so far. In epistemology, where understanding has become a hot topic, epistemic justification is intensively discussed, but not with respect to explanations and theories. In philosophy of science, explanations and theories are widely debated, but rarely with respect to understanding.

The aim of this conference is to bring together the debates in epistemology and in philosophy of science to clarify the question what justification in connection with understanding means. More specifically, the conference will explore how this question can be addressed by exploiting, on the one hand, well-known epistemological positions, such as internalism and theories that refer to coherence, abilities or character traits; and, on the other hand, by making use of insights from philosophy of science which help to clarify the structure of explanations and theories as well as the plurality of epistemic values.

Date and Venue

Friday & Saturday March 21-22, 2014
University of Berne (Switzerland)
UniS, Room B-102, Schanzeneckstrasse 1


Sabine Ammon (Basel)
“Understanding: Probing Procedural Epistemology”

Christoph Baumberger & Georg Brun (Zürich)
“Justifying Understanding by Reflective Equilibrium”

Catherine Elgin (Harvard)
“Exemplification and Understanding”

Christoph Kelp (Leuven)
“Understanding, Knowledge and Ability”

Henk de Regt (Amsterdam)
“Facts, Fictions and Scientific Understanding”

John Greco (Saint Louis)
“Satisfying Understanding”

Kareem Khalifa (Middlebury)
“Must Understanding be Coherent?”

Stephen Grimm (Fordham)
“Understanding and Transparency”

Victor Gijsbers (Leiden)
“Coherentism and Unification”