asks for a distance, not an explanation.
The explanation sketch gains its explanatory force from the full explanation and contains the part of the full explanation that the questioner needs to know.
We can think of this argument as an inference to the best explanation.
A scientific explanation fails to give a complete explanation.
Van Riel (2014) suggests that reductive explanation is a cognate of mechanistic explanation.
However, if each individual contingent being has a causal explanation, then the entire causal series has an explanation.
That how-actually explanation actually explains is uncontroversial, but the merit (if any) of how-possibly explanation has been debated.
Van Fraassen’s theory of why-questions is intended as a theory of explanation, but why-explanation seems not to be the only kind of explanation there is.
Arising out of this debate over the role of mathematical explanation in indispensability arguments, has been a renewed interest in mathematical explanation for its own sake.
Kitcher has not devoted any single article to mathematical explanation and thus his position can only be gathered from what he says about mathematics in his major articles on scientific explanation.
Kitcher claims that behind the account of explanation given by Hempel’s covering law model—the official model of explanation for logical positivism—there was an unofficial model which saw explanation as unification.
To the two kinds of causality described by Salmon there correspond two different levels of explanation: (1) the S-R model, which concerns connections between kinds of events, and (2) causal mechanical explanation, which bears upon single events.
The argument from non-mechanistic explanation purports to show that if non-mechanistic considerations as to what constitutes an explanation (or at least a satisfactory or complete explanation) are adopted, then purely holist explanations may sometimes stand on their own.
For Aristotle, ‘historia’, which corresponds roughly to our systematics—the scientific organization of information about animals—serves the goal of causal explanation; and explanation by reference to goals and functions is the primary form of causal explanation in biology.
A number of fruitful conceptual intersections have been investigated in the recent literature, such as explanation and beauty, explanation and purity, explanation and depth, explanation and inter-theoretic reduction, and explanation and style.
The Nagel model describes reduction in terms of direct theory explanation, whereas an appropriate model of reduction should shape the notion in terms of indirect theory explanation, that is, in terms of explanation of the phenomena of a theory (Kemeny & Oppenheim 1956; Schaffner 1967; Friedman 1982).
Perhaps with chaos explanation we should either search for a process yielding the “stretching and folding” in the dynamics (causal form of explanation) or we should search for the common properties such behavior exhibits (unification form of explanation) underlying the behavior of the nonlinear systems of interest.
One solution to this problem would be to connect reductive explanation to mechanistic explanation, even though mechanistic explanation is often described by its proponents as non-reductivist in spirit (Kauffmann 1970; Cummins 1975, 1983, 2000; Bechtel & Richardson 1993; Bechtel 1994; Glennan 1996; Machamer et al. 2000; Craver 2005, 2007).
In the century between Locke’s Essay and Stewart’s Elements, then, attention ceases to be seen merely as a certain mode of idea-handling, and comes to be seen as a phenomenon in need of its own explanation, and with a role to play in the explanation of perception, in the explanation of memory (both in its storage and in its recall), and in the explanation of skilled action.
we may reasonably conclude that the criteria for supposing that factors have no further explanation (scientific or personal) in terms of factors acting at the time and so that any explanation is a complete explanation overall (not just a complete explanation within scientific or within personal explanation) are that any attempt to go beyond the factors that we have would result in no gain of explanatory power or prior probability. (2004: 89)
- a statement that makes something comprehensible by describing the relevant structure or operation or circumstances etc.
Example: the explanation was very simple
- thought that makes something comprehensible
- the act of explaining; making something plain or intelligible
Example: I heard his explanation of the accident
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we may reasonably conclude that the criteria for supposing that factors have no further explanation scientific or personal in terms of factors acting at the time and so that any explanation is a complete explanation overall not just a complete explanation within scientific or within personal explanation are that any attempt to go beyond the factors that we have would result in no gain of explanatory power or prior probability 2004 89