David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 8 (1):137-159 (1998)
We introduce two notions–the shadows and the shallows of explanation–in opening up explanation to broader, interdisciplinary investigation. The shadows of explanation refer to past philosophical efforts to provide either a conceptual analysis of explanation or in some other way to pinpoint the essence of explanation. The shallows of explanation refer to the phenomenon of having surprisingly limited everyday, individual cognitive abilities when it comes to explanation. Explanations are ubiquitous, but they typically are not accompanied by the depth that we might, prima facie, expect. We explain the existence of the shadows and shallows of explanation in terms of there being a theoretical abyss between explanation and richer, theoretical structures that are often attributed to people. We offer an account of the shallows, in particular, both in terms of shorn-down, internal, mental machinery, and in terms of an enriched, public symbolic environment, relative to the currently dominant ways of thinking about cognition and the world
|Keywords||Cognition Explanation Psychology Science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Andrew Sneddon (2007). A Social Model of Moral Dumbfounding: Implications for Studying Moral Reasoning and Moral Judgment. Philosophical Psychology 20 (6):731 – 748.
Frank C. Keil (2010). The Feasibility of Folk Science. Cognitive Science 34 (5):826-862.
Similar books and articles
Heather E. Douglas (2009). Reintroducing Prediction to Explanation. Philosophy of Science 76 (4):444-463.
Valerie Gray Hardcastle (1997). Discussion: [Explanation] is Explanation Better. Philosophy of Science 64 (1):154-160.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2006). Computational Explanation in Neuroscience. Synthese 153 (3):343-353.
C. S. Jenkins & Daniel Nolan (2008). Backwards Explanation. Philosophical Studies 140 (1):103 - 115.
James Owen Weatherall (2011). On (Some) Explanations in Physics. Philosophy of Science 78 (3):421-447.
Cory D. Wright & William P. Bechtel (2007). Mechanisms and Psychological Explanation. In Paul Thagard (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
Arno Wouters (1995). Viability Explanation. Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457.
Michael Strevens (2008). Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation. Harvard University Press.
Richard Swinburne (1990). The Limits of Explanation. Philosophy 27 (Supplement):177 - 193.
Frank C. Keil & Robert A. Wilson (2000). The Shadows and Shallows of Explanation. In Frank C. Keil & Robert A. Wilson (eds.), Explanation and Cognition. MIT Press.. 137-159.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads29 ( #57,475 of 1,096,595 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #258,571 of 1,096,595 )
How can I increase my downloads?