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Beyond Pandora

Beyond simple curiosity, this is Thinking Too Much. If you're interested in philosophy and/or wild theories, you've come to the right place.

Location: Australia

Paddling somewhere between a mad scientist and an organisational artist. Indecisive, inconsistent and often incoherent.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Musing: Understanding/Comprehension

A fair while ago now, Casyn put this contradictory statement into my head: "I understand, but I don't comprehend". (I didn't realise at the time that he was quoting from Joss Whedon's 'Firefly' series) The puzzle has stuck in my mind for a long time since...

...and I finally think I've got it! Perhaps the difference between understanding and comprehension is the greater context behind whatever you are finding the meaning of.

For example, you can know that blue and yellow make green, but you won't necessarily know why. So do you understand that blue and yellow make green?

...That seems a muddled way of describing it. Hmm. Okay...

"Don't do that!"

You certainly understand what the words mean, but if your immediate response is, "Don't do what?", then the full meaning hasn't been transferred from the speaker to you. You don't comprehend.

A mismatch between words and meaning...

Do you comprehend?


Blogger Casyn said...



11:51 am  

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