Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Understanding: the ability to give reasons for a distinction or to justify a selection of options. For the understanding of signs and words plays a role, whether one can connect an object with the word or sign, as well as whether one can replace the sign or word with another sign or word. In order to understand full sentences, the context must be grasped as well. A point of contention is whether knowing the truth conditions gives the sentence its meaning. In other words Whether there is the knowledge about what should be if the sentence were true. If that is correct, there is no need to know whether the sentence is true (cf. M. Dummett, Ursprünge der analytischen Philosophie Frankfurt 1992, p. 20). See also substitution, truth conditions, knowledge.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Ruth Millikan on Understanding - Dictionary of Arguments

I 151
Understanding/Syntax/Millikan: even if I do not understand a word, I have, so to speak, deputy sentences in my inner, with which I maintain the general relation of negation. That is, I know what the negation of a sentence with an unknown word is to me.
E.g. I do not understand the word "monotreme". That is, my inner token is not an intentional icon, because it does not belong to any family and has no direct eigenfunction.
N.B.: if it has a derived eigenfunction, there is something on which it should map.
I 152
Meaning: if there is something on which a word should normally map, it has some kind of meaning.
Use/Understanding/Millikan: there is an instance in me that even knows the use of "monotreme". My consistency tester.
Consistency Tester/Millikan: its mission is to review the programs that repeat the word use and ensure that this is done according to consistent reasons.
I 304
Understanding/belief/conviction/listening/language/conclusion/Millikan: Believing what someone else is saying is happening directly. There is no inference between. It's like direct perception!
I 305
Also the use of reading devices such as e.g. fuel gauge: is direct perception without interfering inferences. Nevertheless, there is a difference:
E.g. TV: here the subject must know how its relation to the world is what it does not need to know in a "normal situation". But that is not the difference between knowledge with and without conclusion.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Millikan I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987

Millikan II
Ruth Millikan
"Varieties of Purposive Behavior", in: Anthropomorphism, Anecdotes, and Animals, R. W. Mitchell, N. S. Thomspon and H. L. Miles (Eds.) Albany 1997, pp. 189-1967
Der Geist der Tiere, D Perler/M. Wild, Frankfurt/M. 2005

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