Ideas from 'Certain Physical Essays' by Robert Boyle [1672], by Theme Structure

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14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
Explanation is generally to deduce it from something better known, which comes in degrees
                        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.
                        From: Robert Boyle (Certain Physical Essays [1672], II:21), quoted by Robert Pasnau - Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671 23.4
                        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.
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / b. Ultimate explanation
The best explanations get down to primary basics, but others go less deep
                        Full Idea: Explications be most satisfactory that show how the effect is produced by the more primitive affects of matter (bulk, shape and motion) but are not to be despised that deduce them from more familiar qualities such as heat, weight, fluidity, fermentation.
                        From: Robert Boyle (Certain Physical Essays [1672], II:22), quoted by Robert Pasnau - Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671 23.4
                        A reaction: [Compressed, and continued from Idea 16736] So there is a causal structure, and the best explanations go to the bottom of it, but lesser explanations only go half way down. So a very skimpy explanation ('dormative power') is still an explanation.