Darwin-L Message Log 2:150 (October 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<2:150>From CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu  Fri Oct 29 11:01:13 1993

Date: Fri, 29 Oct 93 10:14 CDT
From: Tom Cravens <CRAVENS@macc.wisc.edu>
Subject: Re: difference between scientific and popular explanation
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

Rather than the difference between scientific and popular explanation,
or perhaps prior to tackling that question, I would welcome a definition/
characterization of scientific explanation. I grappled with this quite
a bit as a (linguistics) grad student, and never did get beyond what a
fellow student called--bluntly but not inaptly--"theory-specific hand-waving".
Now I don't use the terms `explain', `explanation', etc., but cowardly
hedges instead.

(Yes, I know what a can of worms this is. I'm curious to know what is
accepted as explanation in historical sciences, or more crucially perhaps,
what isn't.)

Tom Cravens

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