Philosophy of Science 15 (2):135-175 (1948)

Abstract
To explain the phenomena in the world of our experience, to answer the question “why?” rather than only the question “what?”, is one of the foremost objectives of all rational inquiry; and especially, scientific research in its various branches strives to go beyond a mere description of its subject matter by providing an explanation of the phenomena it investigates. While there is rather general agreement about this chief objective of science, there exists considerable difference of opinion as to the function and the essential characteristics of scientific explanation. In the present essay, an attempt will be made to shed some light on these issues by means of an elementary survey of the basic pattern of scientific explanation and a subsequent more rigorous analysis of the concept of law and of the logical structure of explanatory arguments.
Keywords Explanation   Philosophy of Science
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DOI 10.1086/286983
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References found in this work BETA

Elements of Symbolic Logic.Hans Reichenbach - 1947 - London: Dover Publications.
The Semantic Conception of Truth and the Foundations of Semantics.Alfred Tarski - 1943 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 4 (3):341-376.
An Analysis of Knowledge and Valuation.Clarence Irving Lewis - 1946 - La Salle, IL, USA: Open Court.

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Citations of this work BETA

Laws of Nature.Fred I. Dretske - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (2):248-268.
What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?Marc Lange - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):485-511.
No Understanding Without Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):510-515.

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The Problem of Scientific Realism.Edward A. MacKinnon - 1972 - New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

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