Understanding does not depend on causal explanation

Abstract

The dominant view about the relationship between explanation and understanding is what I call the narrow knowledge account of understanding (narrow KAU). According to narrow KAU, one understands only if 1) one has knowledge of causes and 2) that knowledge is provided by an explanation. I show that narrow KAU's two tenets are responsible for the descriptive and normative issues we face when trying to account for various epistemic practices. In response, I propose a different epistemology of understanding, broad KAU, that avoids these issues.

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