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Why explanations? Fundamental, and less fundamental ways of understanding the world

Hansson, Bengt LU (2006) In Theoria 72(1).
Abstract
Abstract. My main claim is that explanations are fundamentally about relations between concepts and not, for example, essentially requiring laws, causes, or particular initial conditions. Nor is their linguistic form essential. I begin by showing that this approach solves some well-known old problems and then proceeds to argue my case using heuristic analogies with mathematical proofs. I find that an explanation is something that connects explanandum and explanans by apprehensible steps that penetrate into more fundamental levels than that of explanandum. This leads to a deeper discussion of what it means to be more fundamental. Although I am not able to give a general definition, I argue that linguistic entities and empirical concepts are... (More)
Abstract. My main claim is that explanations are fundamentally about relations between concepts and not, for example, essentially requiring laws, causes, or particular initial conditions. Nor is their linguistic form essential. I begin by showing that this approach solves some well-known old problems and then proceeds to argue my case using heuristic analogies with mathematical proofs. I find that an explanation is something that connects explanandum and explanans by apprehensible steps that penetrate into more fundamental levels than that of explanandum. This leads to a deeper discussion of what it means to be more fundamental. Although I am not able to give a general definition, I argue that linguistic entities and empirical concepts are usually not fundamental, much relying on the distinction between complete and depleted ideas or experiences. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
contrast-class, explanation, concepts, conservative extension, depletion
in
Theoria
volume
72
issue
1
publisher
Thales
external identifiers
  • scopus:77649218964
ISSN
0040-5825
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
635cdb7a-c0b6-44f1-8bd4-2b0800413b59 (old id 988984)
date added to LUP
2008-01-29 16:14:42
date last changed
2019-02-20 08:01:00
@article{635cdb7a-c0b6-44f1-8bd4-2b0800413b59,
  abstract     = {Abstract. My main claim is that explanations are fundamentally about relations between concepts and not, for example, essentially requiring laws, causes, or particular initial conditions. Nor is their linguistic form essential. I begin by showing that this approach solves some well-known old problems and then proceeds to argue my case using heuristic analogies with mathematical proofs. I find that an explanation is something that connects explanandum and explanans by apprehensible steps that penetrate into more fundamental levels than that of explanandum. This leads to a deeper discussion of what it means to be more fundamental. Although I am not able to give a general definition, I argue that linguistic entities and empirical concepts are usually not fundamental, much relying on the distinction between complete and depleted ideas or experiences.},
  author       = {Hansson, Bengt},
  issn         = {0040-5825},
  keyword      = {contrast-class,explanation,concepts,conservative extension,depletion},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  publisher    = {Thales},
  series       = {Theoria},
  title        = {Why explanations? Fundamental, and less fundamental ways of understanding the world},
  volume       = {72},
  year         = {2006},
}