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Knowledge, Truth, and DutyEssays on Epistemic Justification, Responsibility, and Virtue$
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Matthias Steup

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195128925

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195128923.001.0001

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Recovering Understanding

Recovering Understanding

Chapter:
(p.235) 14 Recovering Understanding
Source:
Knowledge, Truth, and Duty
Author(s):

Linda Zagzebski (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195128923.003.0015

Proposes an analysis of the concept of understanding. Finds three important, relevant strands of thought in the works of Plato and Aristotle, among which the most important one is that understanding involves representing the world nonpropositionally, e.g. through visualization or diagrams. Taking this to be the defining characteristic, proposes that understanding is a state of comprehending nonpropositional structures of reality, such as automobiles, pieces of music or art, the character of a person, or a causal nexus. Argues that virtue epistemology is better suited than traditional epistemology to help us develop a successful analysis of understanding thus conceived. For unlike the theories from which it departs, virtue epistemology takes the objects of valuable epistemic states to consist of both propositional and nonpropositional objects.

Keywords:   death of epistemology, knowledge, nonpropositional representation, techne, understanding, virtue epistemology

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