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The Pragmatics of Explanation 1

Bas C. van Fraassen

in The Scientific Image

Published in print:
1980
Published Online:
November 2003
ISBN:
9780198244271
eISBN:
9780191597473
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/0198244274.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

Explanatory power is a complex theoretical virtue, not reducible to empirical strength or adequacy, which includes other virtues as its own preconditions. Since this virtue provides one of the main ... More


Reasons Why

Bradford Skow

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9780198785842
eISBN:
9780191831164
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785842.001.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

It is first argued that a theory of explanation is, or should be, a theory of answers to why-questions. It is then argued that a theory of answers to why-questions should take the form of a theory of ... More


A Few Opening Remarks

Bradford Skow

in Reasons Why

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9780198785842
eISBN:
9780191831164
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785842.003.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

It is claimed that “theory of explanation” is a poor guide to the subject matter of theories that go by that title. “Theory of answers to why-questions” is better. The importance of why-questions ... More


Introduction

Trenton Merricks

in Self and Identity

Published in print:
2022
Published Online:
February 2022
ISBN:
9780192843432
eISBN:
9780191926068
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780192843432.003.0001
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind

This chapter describes the overall line of argument of Self and Identity. It also introduces the two questions around which Self and Identity revolves. These are The What Question: What is it for a ... More


From Explanations to Why‐Questions

Bradford Skow

in Reasons Why

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9780198785842
eISBN:
9780191831164
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198785842.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Logic/Philosophy of Mathematics

It is argued that so-called theories of explanation have never been intended to be fully general theories of explanation, theories of what it takes for someone to perform the speech act of explaining ... More


Against Understanding (as a Condition on Explanation)

Bradford Skow

in Making Sense of the World: New Essays on the Philosophy of Understanding

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
November 2017
ISBN:
9780190469863
eISBN:
9780190469887
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190469863.003.0011
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, General

The idea that “explanation is that which produces understanding” is commonly accepted and often used to evaluate theories of explanation. But it cannot be used for this purpose. For the claim either ... More


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