Single Idea 17075

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / j. Explanations by reduction]

Full Idea

The history of science suggests that most often explanation is reduction to the unfamiliar.

Gist of Idea

Scientific explanation tends to reduce things to the unfamiliar (not the familiar)


J.J.C. Smart (Explanation - Opening Address [1990], p.11)

Book Reference

'Explanation and Its Limits', ed/tr. Knowles,Dudley [CUP 1990], p.11

A Reaction

Boyle was keen to reduce things to the familiar, but that was early days for science, and some nasty shocks were coming our way. What would Boyle make of quantum non-locality?

Related Ideas

Idea 16736 Explanation is generally to deduce it from something better known, which comes in degrees [Boyle]

Idea 15960 Explanation is deducing a phenomenon from some nature better known to us [Boyle]