Journal Article

Explanatory Inquiry and the Need for Explanation

Stephen R. Grimm

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 59, issue 3, pages 481-497
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axn021
Explanatory Inquiry and the Need for Explanation

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Explanatory inquiry characteristically begins with a certain puzzlement about the world. But why do certain situations elicit our puzzlement (or curiosity) while others leave us, in some epistemically relevant sense, cold? Moreover, what exactly is involved in the move from a state of puzzlement to a state where one's puzzlement is satisfied? In this paper I try to answer both of these questions. I also suggest ways in which our account of scientific rationality might benefit from having a better sense of the kind of epistemic goal we are trying to realize, when we engage in our explanatory inquiries.

Two Senses

The Need for Explanation

An Example

Proto-understanding

Conclusion

Journal Article.  7904 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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