Skip to main content

Questions tagged [explanation]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
5 votes
5 answers
98 views

Are explanations entailments?

Some philosophers say that explanations involve an entailment relation, that is if X explains Y then that means that X entails Y. Is this a valid way of understanding explanations? If not, what does ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 387
0 votes
1 answer
127 views

Give advice on justifying belief in the existence of other minds [duplicate]

Solipsism has the fewest entities (only my mind) and therefore it is the most minimal explanation. Does that make it more likely than the existence of other minds? Because other minds offer billions ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 589
-2 votes
1 answer
75 views

Do we have evidence that explanations that contain a minimal number of entities are true? [closed]

Does our universe require all our explanations to be the most minimal? For example, entropy indicates that everything in our universe tends to a minimum. So all explanations should be as minimal as ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 589
1 vote
2 answers
94 views

What type of reasoning is this? Abduction, inference to the best explanation, induction?

My mind is responsible for my behavior. Other people are very similar to me biologically. Other people have behaviors similar to mine. Possible explanations: Solipsism says that my mind created other ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 589
1 vote
0 answers
51 views

Does the argument by analogy in favor of the existence of other minds lead to solipsism?

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/other-minds/#ArguAnal I can't understand the article. Here it is said that the argument by analogy inevitably leads to solipsism. Then it is said that the argument ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 589
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

Are there circular reasoning in these explanations? [duplicate]

Other people have minds like mine because: 1. Other people have minds like mine: other people are biologically very similar to me the behavior of other people is very similar to my behavior. my ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 589
2 votes
1 answer
353 views

Are all arguments for the existence of other minds circular?

The argument from analogy and the best explanation argument (IBE) rely on the claim that my mental states are responsible for my behavior and then conclude that the behavior of other people is caused ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 589
-1 votes
3 answers
200 views

What does it mean for something to be "explained"?

Suppose I claim that things fall to the ground due to a force known as gravity. Is that explanation satisfactory? Or if I propose that molecules collided randomly, leading to the formation of the ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
247 views

Are there cases where psychology has offered successful scientific explanations for phenomena that neuroscience hasn't?

Firstly, is there a distinction between a psychological explanation and a neuroscientific one for the same phenomenon? Imagine if I posed a question to the entire field of psychology, seeking the best ...
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
264 views

What exactly is the implausibility and unconvincingness of solipsism? [closed]

Solipsism is unconvincing and implausible because it is a complex and confusing explanation. Solipsism offers two different explanations for no reason at all: one for my behavior and one for other ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 589
2 votes
4 answers
153 views

Do things that always existed require less explanation than things that do?

This came up from a recent discussion I was having with Conifold where I started wondering: do facts about reality that don’t seem to “start” and just potentially always existed (such as the “...
Baby_philosopher's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

Are deterministic theories in quantum mechanics superfluous?

There are theories in quantum mechanics that postulate deterministic ways of solving the mysteries of quantum mechanics. One of them is the many worlds interpretation, another Bohmian mechanics, and ...
Baby_philosopher's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
194 views

Do brute facts exist, and if so, how can we tell if a given fact is brute or requires further explanation?

In contemporary philosophy, a brute fact is a fact that cannot be explained in terms of a deeper, more "fundamental" fact. There are two main ways to explain something: say what "...
user avatar
15 votes
15 answers
2k views

Can we know that something exists even if we can't explain or define it?

Can a person know that something like "free will" must exist even though an exact definition in words, using language, cannot be provided, and in the absence of a complete theory that ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
73 views

How should the footnote to BXVIII & BXIX in Kant's first Critique be understood? Does it even make sense?

Note: I am avoiding the typical use of object and subject as observed and observer since it can become exceedingly confusing in this context. I use topic in place of object. The footnote to BXVIII &...
Steven Thomas Hatton's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
1k views

Does the want to seek determinism in physics come from a fallacy that it explains more?

Many physicists even in the modern day tend to be bothered by the indeterminism within quantum mechanics. When they see the probabilistic patterns that lie at the heart of the world, they seek a ...
Baby_philosopher's user avatar
14 votes
11 answers
1k views

Should reducing and simplifying explanations be a core aspect of Philosophical practice?

I'm an Engineer, and a Computer Programmer. But I repeat myself... For me, my life and breath is getting to the bottom of complex things and rendering an explanation or instantiation (for programs) ...
Scott Rowe's user avatar
  • 1,590
3 votes
8 answers
287 views

Is "explaining away" something without offering details ever justified? How detailed should an explanation be to be considered valid?

In a recent question I asked if it was epistemologically sound to consider alternative theories of consciousness to explain the visual phenomena that people blind from birth experience during a near-...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
53 views

Understanding the difference between subject and object [closed]

Sometimes, the subject is an active thing. In the sentence, "He loves her," the subject of the sentence is active. Other times, the subject is a passive thing. In the sentence "He is ...
Fomalhaut's user avatar
  • 689
1 vote
1 answer
88 views

Does the possibility of incommensurable degrees of explanatory complexity hypothetically undermine appeals to Occam's razor?

There is an SEP article on the proposed incommensurability of at least some conflicting pairs of scientific theories, which goes over Kuhnian and Feyerabendian proposals regarding this ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
908 views

Can an extraordinary hypothesis ever be the best explanation for a set of historical facts?

As a motivating example, I have in mind the minimal facts argument for the resurrection of Jesus, espoused by Christian apologists such as Gary Habermas, Michael Licona, and William Lane Craig. The ...
user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
119 views

Can Free Will be Explained?

Explanations are causal, at least to the extent that I'm aware. If I explain X then I basically identify and expand on the cause of X (if X involves an ontological claim the explanans is all about ...
Hudjefa's user avatar
  • 4,353
2 votes
3 answers
570 views

What determines a need for explanation?

This is a question that has been bugging me that came up on a debate about the Kalam cosmological argument between Graham Oppy and Andrew Loke, both philosophers as far as I am aware: https://www....
user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
71 views

Would "to avoid the class/set distinction" be, or not be, an ad hoc reason to propose a couniversal set?

Once upon a time, von Neumann proposed the axiom of limitation-of-size, which says that any class "too large to be a set" is then a "proper class," meaning that there is a ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
193 views

Hypothesis generation & the structure of scientific theories: how (exactly) do theories constrain hypothesis generation?

How (exactly) do theories constrain the generation of various, potential hypotheses to explain something? In particular, what are the different implications of different accounts of the structure of ...
Turtur's user avatar
  • 348
2 votes
5 answers
269 views

How to explain the cosmic expansion? [closed]

We know from astrophysics that the cosmos expands, i.e. that all galaxies recede from each other. This fact is confirmed by observation. It can also be obtained as a solution of the Einstein equations....
Jo Wehler's user avatar
  • 34.6k
1 vote
1 answer
48 views

Books and articles on explanation

What are some resources (books, articles) discussing the topic of "explanation"? (What do we mean when we say "something is explained" or vice versa, and related topics.)
blackened's user avatar
  • 471
3 votes
1 answer
56 views

Is predictive power a criterion for pragmatism?

Is predictive power a criterion for pragmatism? In inference to the best explanation, one of the criteria is prognostic power. Does this criterion refer to pragmatism?
Arti's user avatar
  • 157
0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Explaining the existence vs. explaining the nonexistence of necessary beings

I understand that I am waiving issues like the absolute/relative simplicity/complexity distinction, the difference between the logic of existence and the logic of nonexistence per se, etc., so I ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

Is there a concept in philosophy that deals with how MUCH a theory explains?

Suppose I win the lottery and I pray to God before it. I now tell others that God helped me. Others, skeptics, respond that it makes no sense as to why God only helped me but not others. I now ...
user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
287 views

What is an explanation really?

Let's consider a hypothetical 'Church of the Moon' on a distant planet with a huge moon. The members of this church base all their beliefs about the moon and their religious practices on their holy ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
270 views

What does the IBE argument (the best explanation argument) look like in favor of the existence of other minds?

I have read several versions of the IBE argument for the existence of other minds. But I got a little confused. Now I'm not sure I know what it should sound like. How should the IBE argument (argument ...
Johnny5454's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
178 views

How does the IBE arrive at the best explanation?

What is meant by the behavior of other people in argument? Here it is said that the simplicity of the explanation is decisive in choosing the best explanation. Solipsism has fewer entities(only my ...
Johnny5454's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
59 views

How to understand "type-which-corresponds-to"?

In the comment on How do we define this?, user g s wrote a deleted comment indicating that things could be defined using "type-which-corresponds-to" (exact quote from memory). They followed ...
Stack Exchange Supports Israel's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
161 views

If I use arguments to justify my belief in the existence of other minds, do I have to abandon the theory of mind?

If I use IBE arguments (the best explanation argument) or phenomenal conservatism to justify my belief in the existence of other minds, do I have to ignore theory of mind? That is, I should abandon ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 589
1 vote
2 answers
129 views

Help to understand the use of arguments

If the arguments have the same conclusions, but the premises in one argument contradict the premises in another argument, then these arguments cannot be used together. I am right? For example I have ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 589
0 votes
1 answer
83 views

Can I use multiple justifications for believing in the existence of other minds?

Can I use multiple justifications for believing in the existence of other minds? There are several good justifications for our belief in the existence of other minds. Theory of mind, which is part of ...
Arnold's user avatar
  • 589
0 votes
2 answers
104 views

Why does a non uniform distribution often seem to “beg for an explanation”?

Take for example the proposed fine tuning of the universe. Because there are certain constants proposed to be fine tuned for life, some postulate the existence of a multiverse with constants ranging ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
95 views

Phenomenal Conservatism vs common sense epistemology

Phenomenal Conservatism said: "If it seems to S that P, then, in the absence of defeaters, S thereby has at least some justification for believing that P." The phrase: "at least some ...
Arti's user avatar
  • 157
1 vote
0 answers
53 views

Could deities/multiverses be the empty/trivial solutions to, "How and why does our universe exist in the way it does?"

Note: I am loosely following Nicholas Rescher (Axiogenesis) here, by qualifying "the existence of this world" as "the existence of this specific world," where, "Why is there ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
519 views

How important is explanatory power when it comes to assessing the likelihood of a hypothesis?

Suppose I predict that John will get into a fight tomorrow and he does. Almost noone will think I can read the future. It seems to be "within" the bounds of chance. Suppose I instead ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
189 views

Explanandum and Explanans in Greek Philosophy

From Wikipedia: 'An explanandum is a sentence describing a phenomenon that is to be explained, and the explanans are the sentences adduced as explanations of that phenomenon. For example, one person ...
Wayfarer's user avatar
  • 604
7 votes
5 answers
1k views

What is a question?

Sponsored by Socrates: Alcibiades 113, b SOCRATES: Come then, give me the general principle. When there’s a question and an answer, who is the one saying things--the questioner or the answerer? ...
Xeon's user avatar
  • 489
7 votes
10 answers
2k views

Does prediction really have epistemic value?

I am having trouble understanding why the act of predicting something gives it any sort of value or makes a theory more likely to be true. If a scientific theory explained everything in hindsight, ...
user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
125 views

How do philosophers support their faith in other minds? [duplicate]

How do you support your belief that other people have minds like yours? Do you use any arguments to explain the reasons for your belief? I believe that other people have minds and mental states like ...
Robert Antoni's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
153 views

Please clarify this answer about the argument

I did not understand how this argument should sound. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/other-minds/#BestExpl The article reads as follows: On this way of thinking, mental states are taken to be inner ...
Robert Antoni's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
108 views

How do ordinary people and scientists maintain their belief that other people also have minds? [duplicate]

How do ordinary people and scientists maintain their belief that other people also have minds? Which do ordinary people and scientists use arguments for their belief that other people also have minds? ...
Robert Antoni's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
64 views

Explain what is meant in the article

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/other-minds/#BestExpl "But he also makes the following, important, observation: “A complete response to the problem of other minds seems obliged to incorporate ...
Robert Antoni's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
92 views

What is the status of the argument by analogy now?

Now what about the argument by analogy in favor of the existence of other minds. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/other-minds/#ArguAnal It is written in the article that he was heavily criticized ...
Johnny5454's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
212 views

What arguments can I use to justify my belief in other minds? [duplicate]

What arguments can I use to justify my belief in other minds? https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/other-minds/ Here are all the arguments in favor of the existence of other minds, but I do not ...
Johnny5454's user avatar