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Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of science

West Virginia University

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Investigating The Lay And Scientific Norms For Using ‘Explanation’, Jonathan Waskan, Ian Harmon, Andrew Higgins, Joseph Spino Jan 2014

Investigating The Lay And Scientific Norms For Using ‘Explanation’, Jonathan Waskan, Ian Harmon, Andrew Higgins, Joseph Spino

Faculty Scholarship

In the mid-twentieth century, Hempel (1962, 1965) bucked posit ivist ort hodoxy and proposed that explanations have a legitimate role to play in science. Yet, when it came time to offer up a model of explanation, Hempel held fast to the positivist tendency of abstracting both from facts about human psychology and from the specific contents of claims (i.e., in favor of bare logical form). At the broadest level, he proposed that explanations are sets of true statements arranged into formally acceptable arguments. That such arguments count as explanations has, Hempel thought, nothing to do with what anyone thinks ...