New PDF release: Explaining Explanation

By David-Hillel Ruben

ISBN-10: 0415087651

ISBN-13: 9780415087650

This ebook introduces readers to the subject of rationalization. The insights of Plato, Aristotle, J.S. Mill and Carl Hempel are tested, and are used to argue opposed to the view that clarification is in basic terms an issue for the philosophy of technological know-how. Having tested its value for realizing wisdom in most cases, the publication concludes with a daring and unique rationalization of explanation.


`… Ruben has attention-grabbing and insightful issues to assert approximately each subject he discusses … a great creation to the subject of explanation.' - Mind

`An authoritative contribution to the sequence … an efficient creation to varied subject matters of present concern.' - David Papineau, THES

`This is a publication which I a lot loved interpreting and located very stimulating. There isn't a higher advice for a book.' - Metascience

`This quantity succeeds admirably in being available to undergraduates.' - selection

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Extra info for Explaining Explanation

Sample text

That on its own is no more evidence for ambiguity than the fact that there are vertebrate and invertebrate kinds of animals is evidence for the ambiguity of ‘animal’. However, Hempel says that there are different models for explanation, and given his views on models and analysis, this ought to mean that ‘explanation’ for him is ambiguous and stands for no single concept. Thus, he says: ‘we have to acknowledge that they [explanations conforming to the I-S model] constitute explanations of a distinct logical character, reflecting, as we might say, a different sense of the word “because”’ (Hempel 1965:393).

On one well known theory we will be examining, we explain only if we can deduce a sentence describing the explained phenomenon from a 23 Explaining Explanation sentence that describes the explaining reality and a lawlike generalization. g. ‘the explanans entails the explanandum’. 26 But if there is sentence explanation, it is conceptually dependent on the primary idea of non-sentence explanation (whether the right choice of relata for that relation is events, or facts, or true statements). 27 Even a theory that seeks to analyse explanation in terms of the logical form of, and logical relations between, various sentences is analysing the idea of explanation in the primary, non-sentence sense.

Suppose I want to explain the fact that Carl is a good philosopher. I do so by describing his excellent philosophical training, in the company of great philosophical masters. Sometimes I might have contrasts in mind: why he is a good philosopher rather than a good carpenter; why he rather than Hans is a good philosopher. But sometimes at least there is no obvious contrast, and, in the example I have mentioned, the information about his training seems to explain why he is a great philosopher, tout court.

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Explaining Explanation by David-Hillel Ruben

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