At the Center for Philosophy of Science today, I did my first presentation on the intersection of philosophy of medicine and philosophy of science. I think it went well.
My "Understanding as Compression" has just been accepted by Philosophical Studies. In this paper, I present my new account of understanding, where one understands to the extent that one can create more useful information from a more compressed representation/process pair.
In retrospect, I really should have thought of a more clever title.
...and now you'll be able to read about the Explanation Epistemic Side-Effect Effect in Synthese! We find that people are more likely to say an explanation is offered when the resulting action violates some norm, but that the effect goes away when you control for speaker and audience understanding.
I'll be presenting my paper with Tania Lombrozo “Explanation Classification Depends on Understanding: Extending the Epistemic Side-Effect Effect” at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology in July.
The conference is in July--the Society is always for Philosophy and Psychology :)
Editor Stephen Grimm just signed off on a chapter Tania and I wrote for the upcoming OUP book on Varieties of Understanding, "Mechanistic vs. Functional Understanding". We explore the extent to which research on modes of contrual in psychology suggest that there are different kinds of understanding. (Answer: in some ways yes, and in other ways it's less clear.)
Here's the full reference:
(Forthcoming) Lombrozo, T., and Daniel A. Wilkenfeld. “Mechanistic vs. Functional Understanding.” In Varieties of Understanding: New Perspectives from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology, edited by Stephen R. Grimm. New York: Oxford University Press.
My Center for Philosophy of Science youtube profile just went live, with special guest appearances by DeShone Kizer and Rachael. I watched it once and so far only noticed one thing I definitively wish I hadn't said, which for me is a pretty good hit rate. (I can be fairly self-critical.)
If you have trouble with the link, here's the URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJAvQUdqa0A&feature=youtu.be&a=
I gave my talk today at the Center for Philosophy of Science! I was somewhat nervous giving a big-picture talk in front of one of the most detail-oriented philosophy of science hubs in the world, but I think it went okay. People even laughed at a few of my jokes.
“The Explanatory Effect of a Label: Explanations with Named Categories Are More Satisfying,” written by myself, Carly Giffin, and Tania Lombrozo, is forthcoming in Cognition! It turns out that when you name a condition people think it's more explanatory, seemingly because they import all sorts of causal assumptions.
"Understanding for Hire" which puts forward a new epistemic value problem for understanding, then sort of solves it, just got accepted by the Journal for General Philosophy of Science! It is co-written by myself and Christa Johnson.
Nadya Vasilyeva, Tania Lombrozo, and my "Contextual Utility Affects the Perceived Quality of Explanations" just got accepted by Psychonomic Bulletin and Review!
I've just joined as a post-doctoral researcher a team building a groundbreaking course introducing students to scientific and philosophical thinking. People involved include John Campbell, Tania Lombrozo, Alicia Alonzo, and Saul Perlmutter. It's fun getting to discuss science-education with a Nobel Prize winner.
I just got an offer letter to spend next fall as a research fellow here at the Center for Philosophy of Science! As places in the world to do philosophy of science go, this is fairly high on the list.
I'm back in the classroom! I'm teaching for the department of History and Philosophy of Science right here at Pitt. It's good to be home.
My "Understanding without Believing" came out in Explaining Understanding: New Perspectives from Epistemology and Philosophy of Science.
I just started a new postdoc here in HPS at Pitt--this is a great place to be!
My "Folk Attributions of Understanding: Is There a Role for Epistemic Luck?" with Dillon Plunkett and Tania Lombrozo just got accepted by Episteme!
Baby boy Wilkenfeld was born today!
My paper about how coming to understand something can be personally transformative ("Transformative Understanding Acquisition") just got accepted by Res Philosophica!
I presented a poster on the explanatory status of mental disorders (“Are symptom clusters explanatory? A study in mental disorders and noncausal explanation"), co-authored with Tania Lombrozo and Jenn Asselin. Jenn would subsequently present the data at CogSci.