Questions tagged [explanation]

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Why does this explanation seem wrong?

I am thinking about the differences between explanation and argumentation, and i have come across this example which i just can't seem to understand. Conversation A (Request for explanation): Speaker:...
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1 answer
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Future tense explanations?

Is it possible to explain in the future tense? For example, "there will be smoke" because "there will be fire"?
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2 answers
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Is it ever appropriate to say a phenomenon is unexplainable?

Scientific research involves the investigation of difficult problems, and constantly tries to explain the unknown through observations and logical reasoning. Take a situation like finding a cure for ...
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5 answers
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How is it possible to explain a logical language through a natural one?

Suppose we are to learn a subject like mathematics, then for it's precision and rigor, the topics discussed are described in terms of theories of logic. Suppose a student wishes to learn mathematics, ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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How likely is the simplest explanation of something the correct one?

When assuming how something is the way it is, you choose the simplest explanation. But what is the chance of this actually being the explanation? For example, say a cucumber randomly appeared on the ...
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16 answers
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Why can't numbers be 'used up'?

I was speaking with a young student who has been learning about addition and subtraction (essentially functions, but he doesn't know that yet) with the idea of a 'number machine' and he could not ...
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5 answers
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Is the use of feminist stories sufficient evidence to claim misogyny keeps women out of STEM fields? [closed]

Recently, I asked if multiple anecdotes are logically unsound in this thread: Are multiple anecdotes still logically unsound? The answer was anecdotes can be used correctly depending on the context. ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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How do we answer the question of "what is it"?

What is an electron? How do we answer such questions? If we try to explain it in more fundamental terms, we have to ask what is that and keeps going. So, my question is should we take things like ...
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3 answers
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Which question is right for functional analysis?

I'm trying to understand functional analysis (Cummins, R. view) but i'm confused about how to perform it, which questions to ask. "The Analytical Strategy proceeds by analyzing a disposition ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What does "causally independent structures" mean?

I'm reading a book (Cummins, R. (1983), "The Nature of Psychological Explanation") where he says "...dispositions that cannot be instantiated in causally independent structures". ...
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2 votes
1 answer
357 views

Explanatory model that accounts for universality

Hempel's DN (Deductive-Nomological) model is a kind of explanatory model, that accounts for explanation of certain type of questions. Basically If I look for explanation for the laws of motion of a ...
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Aliens as a scientific explanation

Should we consider aliens as a scientific explanation for unexplained phenomena? Or is it outside the scope of what should be termed a scientific explanation?
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4 answers
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Ruminations on the question 'Why there is something rather than nothing?' and the limits of explanation. May it be unanswerable?

I find myself incessantly returning to the brute mystery of existence, and find Leibniz’s pioneering answer to the fundamental question of metaphysics (as it is sometimes referred to) 'Why is there ...
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"Inference to the Best Explanation if the Best is Sufficiently Good"

The reliability of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is sometimes contested because it may end up recommending the best of a bad lot, which might require a modification of IBE (e.g. contra ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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According to Chalmers, can neuroscience resolve the "hard problem of consciousness"?

This is a question that aims to clarify Chalmers's "hard problem of consciousness". Suppose one day neuroscientists figured out how exactly to reproduce all (or virtually all) human ...
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Self-evident vs. self-explanatory vs. ...?

How far apart are these descriptions? I was approaching the issue from the perspective of erotetic logic, and my intuition is that self-evidence is when a proposition is evident from its erotetic ...
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Theory of Everything: simple but repetitive or complicated by efficient?

Which of the following criteria is more persuasive for choosing a Theory Of Everything: A very simple theory that requires an enormous amount of calculation to compute the universe (e.g. 10^(10^(10^(....
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0 votes
1 answer
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Why does Pnumology come up with a lot of medical articles when looking for explanations?

I was doing some research on Pnumology philosophy (Theological [JP2] Philosophy class) that I plan to publish as one of my many books, and am getting a lot of medical articles, so it got me to ...
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1 answer
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Semantic rules overdetermine the truth value of Liar Paradox

I am reading Graham Priest's In Contradiction (p.14) and he mentioned that the semantic rules of 'this sentence' and 'is True' overdetermine and underdetermine the Liar Paradox and its counterpart ...
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Arguing that English does not satisfy the Tarski condition by appealing to truth value gap

I am reading Graham Priest's In Contradiction (P.12), where he is asserting that English satisfies the Tarski condition (a variant of semantic closure) and thus contains true contradiction. He ...
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Which conception of a " machine " allows to call "mechanical" Descartes and Hobbes views of nature and of science?

The word "mechanical" comes from a greek word meaning " machine". However, the received definition of mechanical philosophy does not contain the concept of a machine. This school of thought is said ...
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2 answers
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Is it epistemically untenable to posit a total explanation of reality?

I am certainly not well-versed in metaphysics, so please correct the terminology I have employed throughout. When I speak of a total explanation of reality, I am describing an explanation that ...
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Is Such an Exhortation an Argument or Not?

Given the quotation: As much as you can, keep worldly life in your hand--not in your heart. That means when someone insults you, keep it out of your heart so it doesn't make you bitter or ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What is the relationship between scientific explanation and interpretability?

I am trying to understand the relationship between Scientific Explanation and Intelligibility / Understanding. I believe the former is grounded in the Metaphysics of Causation while the latter is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does the principle of sufficient reason imply mechanistic determinism?

The principle of sufficient reason states that any fact has a cause (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/sufficient-reason). To some authors, this principle led to extrapolated mechanistic determinism ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Meaning of aphorism 133 from chapter 4 in beyond good and evil by Nietzsche

I have started reading Nietzsche's books and I come across a quote that resonates with me personally as probably with other people and I am curious if someone would like to attempt to further explain ...
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Are ideas in the prolegomena meant to be the failure of understanding?

In the third section of the Prolegomena, Kant explains in section 40 (at least how I understand it) that ideas are merely the analogues categories of those concepts that cannot be experienced. As I ...
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Bayes and unknown probabilites: is this reasoning from the failure of explanation a fallacy?

Bayesian probability is an interpretation of the concept of probability, in which, instead of frequency or propensity of some phenomenon, probability is interpreted as reasonable expectation ...
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2 answers
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Is this logical? Topic on death being a black box

People say death is a black box, that you can know nothing about it, but is the following logical? If you believe real time travel is possible maybe in the future and someone eventually may be able ...
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1 vote
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In Hegelian Dialectic is an antithesis ever a shift in the status quo, or only an opposition to the status quo?

I am trying to understand how the Hegelian dialectic evolves over time. I will use tn (where n is a constant integer) informally, such that tn+2 - tn+1 is not necessarily the same duration as tn+1 - ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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'Truth conditions cannot simultaneously serve as both a definition of truth and meaning of sentence' What does this mean?

I am reading Hintikka's article on logical consequence in Oxford handbook of Philosophy of math and logic, and he was talking about the meaings of logical constants, when the following excerpt ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Are all explanations either personal or scientific?

In A New Cosmological Argument, Richard Gale and Alexander Pruss offer up a cosmological argument for a personal God, from the weak principle of sufficient reason (among other premises, but the WPSR ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Was Kant an Intuitionist about mathematical objects?

In regards to the ontology of mathematics, as far as I can understand, Kant believed that Mathematical objects existed only as features of our perception that influenced how we viewed things-in-...
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1 vote
0 answers
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The nature of Nominalist Formalism

In this entry in the stanford encyclopedia of philosophy, it is stated that the theory of nominalist formalism deals with the metatheory problem of formalism as follows: Commendably, Goodman and ...
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2 answers
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What is moral inquiry in the context of James Lenman's paper?

I’ve been trying to understand this concept on my own, but I’m unable to grasp it. Google keeps referring to a paper published in the Aristotelian Society, but that article is hidden behind a paywall. ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is there a philosophical position for and against the idea that every causal entity contributes to every effect?

Is there a philosophical position for and against the idea that every causal entity can in principle contribute to every effect? So do some e.g. physical explanations claim that entities of type X ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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How does one judge "complexity" of assumptions for the purposes of "best explanation"?

The context for this question is from assessing theological arguments from the point of view of 'inference to the best explanation'. In philosophy (and science), we may wish to argue that some ...
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