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Understanding, Knowledge, and Scientific Antirealism

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Epistemologists have recently debated whether understanding is a species of knowledge. However, because they have offered little in the way of a detailed analysis of understanding, they lack the resources to resolve this issue. In this paper, I propose that S understands why p if and only if S has the non-Gettierised true belief that p, and for some proposition q, S has the non-Gettierised true belief that q is the best available explanation of p, S can correctly explain p with q, and S can identify the features that make q the best explanation of p. On this analysis, understanding is reducible to knowing that p and that q is the best available explanation of p.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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