Single Idea 16182

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation]

Full Idea

In explaining a phenomenon one can cite the causes of that phenomenon; or one can set the phenomenon in a general theoretical framework.

Gist of Idea

Two main types of explanation are by causes, or by citing a theoretical framework


Nancy Cartwright (How the Laws of Physics Lie [1983], 4.1)

Book Reference

Cartwright,Nancy: 'How the Laws of Physics Lie' [OUP 2002], p.75

A Reaction

The thing is, you need to root an explanation in something taken as basic, and theoretical frameworks need further explanation, whereas causes seem to be basic.