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Daniel Wilkenfeld
University of Pittsburgh, USA
Fall 2017

Simply Understanding the World: Compression, Explanation, and Understanding

Daniel received his PhD in philosophy from Ohio State in 2013, taught for a year, worked in the Concepts and Cognition cognitive psychology lab for two years, and has been teaching and post-doc-ing at Pitt since then. He is interested in very general philosophy of science, trying to come up with unified accounts of explanation and (especially) understanding that cut across traditional disciplinary divides. In particular, he wants to build an account of how people come to understand new ideas, especially in educational contexts. He's published a dozen articles in journals such as Synthese, Philosophical Studies, and Cognition. He primarily considers himself an analytic philosopher, but also enjoys exploring the empirical dimensions of concept deployment. The plan for the time at the Center is to attempt to build an account of understanding using the tools of information theory--we'll see how it plays out. Daniel spends much of his time parenting, is an avid politics-junkie, and dreams of the possibility that one day he will have time to finish a video game.




Revised 08/01/2017 - Copyright 2012