1st Edition

Understanding and Conscious Experience Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives

Edited By Andrei Ionuț Mărăşoiu, Mircea Dumitru Copyright 2025
    256 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume explores how understanding relates to conscious experience. In doing so, it builds bridges between different philosophical disciplines and provides a metaphysically robust characterization of understanding, both in and beyond science.

    The past two decades have witnessed growing interest from epistemologists, philosophers of science, philosophers of mind, and ethicists in the nature and value of intellectual understanding. This volume features original essays on understanding and the phenomenal experiences that underlie it. The chapters are divided into three thematic sections. Part 1 provides theoretical characterizations of understanding, including Henk de Regt’s defense of a contextual theory of scientific understanding and a debate whether scientific inference and explanatory power are necessary or central features of understanding. Part 2 explores how conscious experience and understanding are related. The chapters articulate a phenomenal theory of understanding and address themes that are connected to understanding, including awareness, transformative experiences, and exemplification. Finally, Part 3 is devoted to domain-specific inquiries about understanding, such as logical proofs, particle physics and moral understanding.

    Understanding and Conscious Experience will be of interest to scholars and advanced students working in philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics, and phenomenology.

    Introduction Andrei Ionuț Mărăşoiu

    Part 1

    1. Understanding in Science and Beyond Henk W. de Regt

    2. The Nature and Value of Understanding Duncan Pritchard

    3. Understanding and Inference in Recent Works on Scientific Understanding Lilia Gurova

    4. Defending Understanding without Explanation Richard David-Rus

    Part 2

    5. A Phenomenal Theory of Grasping and Understanding David Bourget

    6. Awareness, Apperception and Understanding Catherine Z. Elgin

    7. Understanding Identity Transformative Experiences Mircea Toboşaru

    8. Ways of Understanding the Phenomenal: The Cases of Pictorial Representation and Exemplification Constantin Stoenescu

    Part 3

    9. ‘Feeling the Proof’: Is There Such a Thing as a Phenomenology of Reasoning? Mircea Dumitru

    10. Recalcitrant Anomalies, Ignorance, Insights, and Scientific Understanding: A Structuralist Approach María del Rosario Martínez-Ordaz and Moisés Macías-Bustos

    11. Moral Understanding Christoph Kelp


    Andrei Ionuţ Mărăşoiu is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Bucharest. In 2019, he received a PhD from the University of Virginia. He published articles in journals such as Acta Analytica, Journal of Philosophical Research, Axiomathes and others.  

    Mircea Dumitru is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bucharest and Vice-President of the Romanian Academy, having held many positions (rector, minister). His 1998 PhD from Tulane University concerned modal and second-order logic. Recently he edited Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality: Themes from Kit Fine