Author Topic: What is an "explanation?"  (Read 905 times)

cnearing

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What is an "explanation?"
« on: March 31, 2016, 10:12:40 AM »
Alright, I got no takers on this elsewhere, and it is primarily relevant to the LCA, since it speaks to the PSR, so I'm reposting it here.

I use the word "explanation" to refer to a type of story or narrative one person offers another with the goal of getting the other to understand or appreciate some concept or fact or system or chain of events in some way.  It's a language-game move intended to shape an audience's mental state.

But it means nothing to me in an ontological or metaphysical context.  In the PSR, for instance, one states that every *thing* has an explanation of its existence.

Clearly, the PSR is not referring to language-game moves, here, since it would be trivially false if it were.

But what else is there?  What sort of "explanation" can a thing have?

Can anyone actually offer this term "explanation" a rigorous deficnition?

Because, right now, it seems pretty vacuous to me, and the PSR along with it.
P((A => B), A) = P(A => B) + P(A) - 1

Lespaul_Lover

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Re: What is an "explanation?"
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2017, 04:00:03 PM »
clearing,

I think this is a sweet topic so I'd love to give my ideas. But before that, I would appreciate some clarification on what you mean by "Clearly, the PSR is not referring to language-game moves, here, since it would be trivially false if it were." I don't see the connection between the PSR and language-game-moves so I would love further clarification.

In terms of offering a definition for the term explanation, my first reaction would be state something such as: "The idea of showing or understanding the reason for something existing." The Cambridge Dictionary states that explanation is: "the details or reasons that someone gives to make something clear or easy to understand."

Hope this helps fuel your thoughts and our discussion.
Proverbs 27:17- "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."

lucious

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Re: What is an "explanation?"
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 11:11:16 PM »
A proposition which makes the existence of anything or event intelligible?

igr

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Re: What is an "explanation?"
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 02:40:35 AM »
It depends on whether you want the actual explanation or one that is fabricated to include whatever is already known (if anything) about the matter at hand.  Supernaturalism is an example of the second with nothing actually known about it.