Institut Jean Nicod

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John Bengson (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

Vendredi 12 décembre 2014 à 11h30 à 13h

Institut Jean-Nicod, Pavillon Jardin, Ecole normale supérieure,
29, rue d'Ulm 75005 Paris

John Bengson (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

"The Unity of Understanding"

Understanding comes in a variety of forms. There is, for example, the practical understanding of the "doer", paradigmatically manifested in skilled activity, and the theoretical understanding of the "thinker", paradigmatically manifested in scientific advance. Are practical and theoretical understanding fundamentally different, or are they, at bottom, one and the same sort of thing? Philosophical theorizing has displayed a strong tendency towards the former approach. This talk, however, pursues the latter. After clarifying the relevant notion of unity and critically examining obstacles to unification, an argument for unification is given and an explanation of its truth is proposed. The argument and explanation highlight the notion of a conception and its epistemic significance.