more from Wesley Salmon

Single Idea 13059

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation]

Full Idea

Proponents of the ontic conception of explanation can say that explanations exist in the world as facts, or that they are reports of such facts (as opposed to the view of explanations as arguments, or as speech acts).


'Ontic' means concerning existence

Gist of Idea

Ontic explanations can be facts, or reports of facts


Wesley Salmon (Four Decades of Scientific Explanation [1989], 3.2)

Book Reference

Salmon,Wesley C.: 'Four Decades of Scientific Explanation', ed/tr. Humphreys,Paul [Pittsburgh 2006], p.86

A Reaction

[compressed] I am strongly drawn to the ontic approach, but not sure whether we want facts, or reports of them. The facts are the causal nexus, but which parts of the nexus provide the main aspect of explanation? I'll vote for reports, for now.