Minimal structure explanations, scientific understanding and explanatory depth

Perspectives on Science (1):48-67 (2018)
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Abstract

In this paper, I outline a heuristic for thinking about the relation between explanation and understanding that can be used to capture various levels of “intimacy”, between them. I argue that the level of complexity in the structure of explanation is inversely proportional to the level of intimacy between explanation and understanding, i.e. the more complexity the less intimacy. I further argue that the level of complexity in the structure of explanation also affects the explanatory depth in a similar way to intimacy between explanation and understanding, i.e. the less complexity the greater explanatory depth and vice versa.

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Daniel Kostić
Leiden University

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