Henk de Regt, born in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, in 1961. Ph.D. from VU University Amsterdam. Professor of Philosophy at VU University Amsterdam.
Lorentz Fellow (1 September 2009 – 30 June 2010)
UNDERSTANDING SCIENTIFIC UNDERSTANDING
The main objective of my stay at NIAS was to write a monograph on scientific understanding that integrates and further develops my previous work on this topic. I have written rough drafts of all six chapters and completed three substantial chapters. Among the latter is a chapter that contains the philosophical foundation of my theory of scientific understanding, a chapter that provides an overview of existing philosophical theories of explanation and analyses their implications on the nature of scientific understanding. Another chapter contains a detailed case study of the possible roles of visualisation in the achievement of scientific understanding. Moreover, as part of my Lorentz Fellowship, I organised (with James McAllister) the inter-disciplinary workshop “Understanding and the Aims of Science”, held at the Lorentz Center (Leiden University) from 31 May to 4 June 2010. Its aim was to advance discussion about understanding as an aim of science by bringing together philosophers of science and practising scientists from various scientific disciplines. This inter-disciplinary aim was achieved successfully.