more from Robert Boyle

Single Idea 16736

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation]

Full Idea

Generally speaking, to render a reason of an effect or phenomenon is to deduce it from something else in nature more known than itself, and consequently there may be diverse kinds of degrees of explication of the same thing.

Gist of Idea

Explanation is generally to deduce it from something better known, which comes in degrees


Robert Boyle (Certain Physical Essays [1672], II:21), quoted by Robert Pasnau - Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671 23.4

Book Reference

Pasnau,Robert: 'Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671' [OUP 2011], p.530

A Reaction

There is a picture of a real explanatory structure to nature, from which we pick bits that interest us for entirely pragmatic reasons. Boyle and I are as one on this matter.

Related Ideas

Idea 16737 The best explanations get down to primary basics, but others go less deep [Boyle]

Idea 17075 Scientific explanation tends to reduce things to the unfamiliar (not the familiar) [Smart]