Scientific Explanation: Putting Communication First

Philosophy of Science 83 (5):721-732 (2016)
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Abstract
Scientific explanations must bear the proper relationship to the world: they must depict what, out in the world, is responsible for the explanandum. But explanations must also bear the proper relationship to their audience: they must be able to create human understanding. With few exceptions, philosophical accounts of explanation either ignore entirely the relationship between explanations and their audience or else demote this consideration to an ancillary role. In contrast, I argue that considering an explanation’s communicative role is crucial to any satisfactory account of explanation.
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Archival date: 2018-09-09
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