Scientific Report 2020

This scientific report concerns the project “Understanding: phenomenal and epistemic aspects”, whose project director is Andrei Ionuţ Mărăşoiu. The project (code PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2019-0535) is financially supported by a grant of the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research, CNCS – UEFISCDI, under the PNCDI III scheme. It is hosted by the University of Bucharest’s Research Institute – Social Sciences Unit (ICUB-SSU), and the project director’s mentor is acad. prof. dr. Mircea Dumitru. The webpage devoted to the project is https://upea.andreimarasoiu.com, and it is linked to http://www.icub.unibuc.ro, the hosting institute’s webpage.

The project concerns the issue of how the phenomenology and the epistemology of understanding relate to each other, especially considering the possibility that the nature of understanding might vary from one epistemic context to another, and that the associated phenomenally conscious experiences had in understanding may similarly be widely varied.

The 2020 project stage was concerned with an initial review of possible epistemic norms for understanding, as well as with classifying kinds of conscious experiences co-occurring with understanding, as a first step toward raising the problem of how phenomenal and epistemic aspects of understanding connect in a systematic way.

One article initially included in the project deliverables, “Justified by thought alone”, has been published by Logos & Episteme 11 (2), pp. 195-208. However, its publication date is prior to September 1st, 2020.[1] Another article included in the project deliverables, „Intellectual virtues and biased understanding”, is slated to appear in the Journal for Philosophical Research, but publication has been significantly delayed due to the impact the pandemic has had on the publisher, the Philosophy Documentation Center (PDC).

The article “Defending the Good Dog Picture of Virtues” has been published in the journal Organon F, vol. 27 (4), pp. 539-555.[2] Organon F is included in Clarivate Analytics’ Arts & Humanities Research Index (ISI). The article’s accession number is WOS:000587408800008, with DOI: 10.31577/orgf.2020.27408

The article “Blaming dirty looks” has been accepted for publication in the International Journal for Applied Philosophy, and is at the final production stage. “Seeing and feeling, all at once” has been accepted for publication in Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy. And “Quine’s ontology – the interplay between commitment and decision” is to appear in European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy.

Several other article manuscripts are under review. Of particular note are the other two of the four projected articles associated with this project: “The truth in understanding” and “We understand by attending”. The first of these is at the “Revise & Resubmit” stage with a journal included in the Arts & Humanities Research Index.

The project occasioned writing other texts as well, such as “Experiences of understanding” and “Understanding, explanation and models”. These two are particularly important because the first surveys possible experiences of understanding, whereas the second considers possible epistemic norms for understanding. Jointly, writing these two texts achieves what the 2020 stage of the project had set out to accomplish. The first text is under review, the second is at the “Revise & Resubmit” stage with a journal included in the Arts & Humanities Research Index.

Starting October 1st, 2020, A.I. Mărăşoiu is an Assistant Lecturer in Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Bucharest. In this new capacity, he is now responsible for organizing a series of talks, under the auspices of the Department of Theoretical Philosophy and CELFIS, the Center for Logic, Philosophy and History of Science at the University of Bucharest. The four talks held over Fall 2020 are:

-23 nov.: Derek Lam (Wisconsin-Whitewater), “Dialectic delicacies in arguing for agential knowledge”

-30 nov.: Lavinia Marin (TU Delft), “The Internet of thinkers. An enactive account of critical thinking for online environments”

-7 dec.: David Kovacs (Tel Aviv), “Count indeterminacy and the problem of vague non-objects”

-14 dec.: Gheorghe Ştefanov (Universitatea din București), “Actions in a rational space – a framework for philosophical semantics”

At the start of each of the talks, Andrei acknowledges with gratitude the support received from UEFISCDI via his postdoctoral grant, given that these talks help illuminate topics connected with his research. This series of talks is a first step toward building research networks that may help foster interdisciplinary dialogue concerning the variety of forms which understanding may assume, and what commonalities they might share, at an experiential or constitutively epistemic level.

[1]   Full text available at: http://logos-and-episteme.acadiasi.ro/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/marasoiu.XI_.2.2020-1.pdf

[2]   Full text available at: https://www.sav.sk/journals/uploads/11020804orgf.2020.27408.pdf