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Explanation

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by

Emily Tran

on 20 November 2012

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Transcript of Explanation

ex·pla·na·tion Noun:
A statement or account that makes something clear.
A reason or justification given for an action or belief. Must all good explanations make predictions with the same degree of success? What are the differences between persuasive explanations, good explanations, and true explanations? Persuasive Good True Explaining with the intention of making another person want to adopt the same beliefs; ideas are based on the fact that they affect you but are not necessarily correct pathos logos emotion logic ethos credibility Examples
Hitler & anti-semitism
Religious conversion
End of world predictions An explanation that acts to determine the reasons, and results of a phenomenon with use of facts, persuasive evidence, logic and rational thought to provide support for the reasoning behind said explanation. Good explanations are not necessarily correct, though, unlike persuasive explanations, they employ concrete evidence. facts
persuasive evidence
logic
rational thought
hard to vary NOT: "I believe in Judaism because I'm Jewish." Highly objective
Independent of emotions, personal feelings, instinct & culturally-specific moral codes and norms Eugenics:
science of improving the genetic composition of a population, specifically humans
Originally, scientists believed they could eradicate mental illness, psychiatric illness, and physical disability by controlling human matings
Practiced throughout Europe & North America in early 1900s
Decline in early 1930s after use as justification for racial policies of Germany Every detail must have a purpose. Modifying any part of the explanation would render it incoherent.

Ex. Greek myth that seasons based on gods' sadness The concept of an explanation that is irrefutable and absolute. Explanations are limited by the subjective nature of perception, therefore many explanations could merely be a personal concept. What one believes they ‘know’ may not be able to be changed by a persuasive explanation that contradicts their current belief. Things we know today may very well be considered absurd in the future, despite them being known as ‘common knowledge’ today. Examples:
Large Hadron Collider
Galileo speaking of a round Earth If one is to explain a topic, the explanation must stand firm for every instance of said topic. If it fails, then the explanation is not ‘good’. Therefore, explanations make a prediction for every instance the topic is employed. Example:
When I release this pencil, the force of gravity acting on it made it fall. I predict that this will happen every time I do this. However, from a scientific standpoint, if prediction = hypothesis:
falsifiable
lead to more questions This is a positive quality, as it means that the hypothesis is testable by empirical experiment.
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