Philosophy Colloquium with Insa Lawler: The Gradability of Explanatory Understanding

Speaker(s): Dr. Insa Lawler, UNC Greensboro
You are invited to attend the Department of Philosophy's first colloquium of the semester!

Join us to hear Dr. Insa Lawler, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, as she presents "The Gradability of Explanatory Understanding."

Abstract: It is a common place that explanatory understanding comes in degrees. Some people have more understanding of a subject matter than others or a greater degree of understanding. Its gradability is claimed to be one feature that sets apart understanding from knowledge. But what precisely does it mean that understanding comes in degrees or is gradable? In my talk, I explore how the gradability of understanding can be analyzed, drawing on insights from epistemology, formal semantics, metaphysics, and philosophy of science.

Research Interests: "My core research area: At the intersection of philosophy of science and epistemology, I explore the epistemology of scientific inquiry. In particular, I work on the nature of (answers to) why questions, knowing why, scientific understanding, scientific models and idealizations, progress in science, applied statistical reasoning, and measurement in cognitive sciences.

I also work on some issues in semantics. I examine how non-declarative sentences (e.g., interrogative sentences and imperative sentences) can be analyzed in truth-centered semantic frameworks, and I analyze cases of multi-modal meaning, esp. how speech meaning and the meaning of other modalities (especially gesture meaning) interact."

You may find out more about Dr. Lawler on her website


Philosophy Colloquium with Insa Lawler: The Gradability of Explanatory Understanding


Gilbert, Rachel