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Varieties of Understanding – New Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Varieties of Understanding: New Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology

Stephen R. Grimm


According to a long historical tradition, understanding comes in different varieties. In particular, it is said that understanding people has a different epistemic profile than understanding the natural world—it calls on different cognitive resources, for instance, and brings to bear distinctive normative considerations. Thus in order to understand people we might need to appreciate, or in some way sympathetically reconstruct, the reasons that led a person to act in a certain way. By comparison, when it comes to understanding natural events, like earthquakes or eclipses, no appreciation of rea ... More

Keywords: understanding, epistemology, philosophy, psychology, theology, mechanism, humanities, literature

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190860974
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190860974.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Stephen R. Grimm, editor
Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University

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Front Matter

1 Varieties of Understanding

Stephen R. Grimm

I Philosophy of Understanding

4 On Literary Understanding

Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei

II Psychology of Understanding

8 Technology as Teacher

Kimberly A. Brink and Henry M. Wellman

11 Mechanistic versus Functional Understanding

Tania Lombrozo and Daniel Wilkenfeld

12 Are Humans Intuitive Philosophers?

Steven Sloman, Jeffrey C. Zemla, David Lagnado, Christos Bechlivanidis, and Babak Hemmatian

III Theology of Understanding

End Matter