What is it about?

It seems like I can come to know all sorts of new things by listening to you. But to really understand something seems like it takes a lot more work on my own part: perhaps you can help me along, but understanding seems to require that I figure things out for myself. Here I want to challenge this view: I think you can acquire understanding in the same way that you can acquire knowledge.

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Why is it important?

Knowledge is cheap - you can come to know all kinds of new things by wasting a few hours on Wikipedia, say. But understanding seems harder to get, and perhaps more worthwhile. My argument here is that, at least under certain circumstances, understanding can come cheap, too. As a result, we can think differently about how we can get other people to understand what we do.


My hope is that in reading this article people will think a bit more about how they can come to understand the world a bit better.

Kenneth Boyd
University of Southern Denmark

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This page is a summary of: TESTIFYING UNDERSTANDING, Episteme, November 2015, Cambridge University Press, DOI: 10.1017/epi.2015.53.
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