Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ A Phenomenal Theory of Grasping and Understanding

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I often ask what it is we're doing when we're teaching and learning, that is, what counts as success? This paper offers some insight into the sort of question I have in mind. To 'learn' something is more than just to come to know that something is true. That's just memorization. No, as David Bourget would argue here, it's to grasp what is being taught. "It is one thing to believe something, and it is another to grasp it. For example, everyone knows that life is short, but most of us arguably do not fully grasp this fact." But what is it to 'grasp'? He argues, "we grasp to the extent that our thoughts are grounded in experience, whether occurrent or non-occurrent... , what we experience matters to how we reason because that is how we are wired: consciousness isn't a late addition to our minds; it is the
most central, causally potent form of mental activity." I think this argument works, overall. Image: Ding.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jun 14, 2024 04:02 a.m.

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