Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Explanation: making a statement in relation to an event, a state, a change or an action that was described before by a deviating statement. The statement will often try to involve circumstances, history, logical premises, causes and causality. See also description, statements, theories, understanding, literal truth, best explanation, causality, cause, completeness.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Item Summary Meta data
II 10
Explanation/Nozick: not based on arguments - and not on evidence - because an evidence provides no understanding. - Hypotheses that are needed in an explanation must not be known to be true.
II 12
Explanation/Nozick: locates something in the topicality - Understanding: localizes something in the space of possibilities.
II 115
Existence/explanation/Leibniz/Nozick: each factor that should explain why there is anything at all, will be part itself of what needs to be explained - explanation: always happens in terms of something else - one cannot explain everything, but nothing is inexplicable in principle.
II 116
Explanation/Nozick: is irreflexive, asymmetric and transitive: - irreflexive: nothing explains itself - asymmetrical: if X explains Y then Y does not explain X (not reversible).
II 117
Transitive: if X explains Y and Y explains Z, then X explains Z. - With that a strict partial order is established.
II 118f
Explanation/existence/Nozick: another possibility: explanation from laws or theories - question: why is there then such theories and laws - ultimate justification/self-explanation: could one last law subsume itself? - Last law: must have any characteristic C - all other laws - Problem: truth is not proven from form.
II 120
Explanation/level/stage/Nozick: some: the statement must be deeper than the explained - KripkeVs: new theory: statements themselves seek the appropriate level - the highest level/stage/Kripke: those to which the sentence to its reference is applied to - Nozick: then P has to be, when used in a deduction, one level lower than its instance - then a deduced statement is lower when it subsumes something than when it is subsumed.
II 120
Self-explanation/Nozick: self subsumption explains itself in the quantifier logic - Otherwise:. explanation is irreflexive - that means, it cannot explain itself. - Bare facts/Nozick: a) something that cannot be explained by something else - b) weaker: something that cannot be explained by something else. - Then the explanatory self subsumption is a bare fact that explains itself.
II 305
Explanation/Nozick: one says, an explanation should not have less (for example, semantic) depth than the explained.
II 308
Causation/Descartes: cannot be less deep than the effect (principle).

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

No I
R. Nozick
Philosophical Explanations Oxford 1981

R., Nozick
The Nature of Rationality 1994

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-08-14
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