The Explanatory Gap Account and Intelligibility of Explanation

Theoria 54 (3):27-42 (2011)
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Abstract

This paper examines the explanatory gap account. The key notions for its proper understanding are analysed. In particular, the analysis is concerned with the role of “thick” and “thin” modes of presentation and “thick” and “thin” concepts which are relevant for the notions of “thick” and “thin” conceivability, and to that effect relevant for the gappy and non-gappy identities. The last section of the paper discusses the issue of the intelligibility of explanations. One of the conclusions is that the explanatory gap account only succeeds in establishing the epistemic gap. The claim that psychophysical identity is not intelligibly explicable, and thus opens the explanatory gap, would require an indepen- dent argument which would prove that intelligible explanations stem only from conceptual analysis. This, I argue, is not the case.

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Daniel Kostić
Leiden University

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