Intelligibility is Necessary for Scientific Explanation, but Accuracy May Not Be

In Naomi Miyake, David Peebles & Richard Cooper (eds.), Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society (2012)
Authors
Ian Harmon
Rice University
Andrew Higgins
Illinois State University
John Clevenger
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2 more
Abstract
Many philosophers of science believe that empirical psychology can contribute little to the philosophical investigation of explanations. They take this to be shown by the fact that certain explanations fail to elicit any relevant psychological events (e.g., familiarity, insight, intelligibility, etc.). We report results from a study suggesting that, at least among those with extensive science training, a capacity to render an event intelligible is considered a requirement for explanation. We also investigate for whom explanations must be capable of rendering events intelligible and whether or not accuracy is also viewed as a requirement.
Keywords science  explanation  psychologism  intelligibility  experimental philosophy
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