structure for 'Science'    |     alphabetical list of themes    |     expand these ideas

14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation

[picking out different styles of explanation]

31 ideas
Aristotelian explanations mainly divide things into natural kinds [Aristotle ,by Politis]
Four Explanations: the essence and form; the matter; the source; and the end [Aristotle ,by Politis]
Aristotle's four 'causes' are four items which figure in basic explanations of nature [Aristotle ,by Annas]
There are as many causes/explanations as there are different types of why-question [Aristotle]
Science refers the question Why? to four causes/explanations: matter, form, source, purpose [Aristotle]
Aristotle's standard analysis of species and genus involves specifying things in terms of something more general [Aristotle ,by Benardete,JA]
To the four causes Plato adds a fifth, the idea which guided the event [Seneca]
Nature is explained by mathematics and mechanism, but the laws rest on metaphysics [Leibniz]
Analytic explanation is wholes in terms of parts; synthetic is parts in terms of wholes or contexts [Belnap]
The 'inferential' conception is that all scientific explanations are arguments [Salmon]
Ontic explanations can be facts, or reports of facts [Salmon]
The three basic conceptions of scientific explanation are modal, epistemic, and ontic [Salmon]
An explanation is a table of statistical information [Salmon]
A good reason for something (the smoke) is not an explanation of it (the fire) [Armstrong]
An explanation is often a deduction, but that may well beg the question [Dummett]
Follow maths for necessary truths, and jurisprudence for contingent truths [Hacking]
Two main types of explanation are by causes, or by citing a theoretical framework [Cartwright,N]
Most explanations are just sentences, not arguments [Ruben]
Beneath every extrinsic explanation there is an intrinsic explanation [Field,H]
Is there metaphysical explanation (as well as causal), involving a constitutive form of determination? [Fine,K]
We explain by identity (what it is), or by truth (how things are) [Fine,K]
Nomothetic explanations cite laws, and structural explanations cite mechanisms [Mumford]
Explanation is either showing predictability, or showing necessity, or showing causal relations [Psillos]
Explanations are causal, nomic, psychological, psychoanalytic, Darwinian or functional [Bird]
Evolutionary explanations look to the past or the group, not to the individual [Stout,R]
Value, constitution and realisation are non-causal dependences that explain [Liggins]
If explanations track dependence, then 'determinative' explanations seem to exist [Liggins]
Two things being identical (like water and H2O) is not an explanation [Audi,P]
There are 'conceptual' explanations, with their direction depending on complexity [Schnieder]
Explanations by disposition are more stable and reliable than those be external circumstances [Vetter]
Grounding is a kind of explanation, suited to metaphysics [Vetter]