Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (10):464-470 (2006)

Authors
Tania Lombrozo
University of California, Berkeley
Abstract
Generating and evaluating explanations is spontaneous, ubiquitous and fundamental to our sense of understanding. Recent evidence suggests that in the course of an individual’s reasoning, engaging in explanation can have profound effects on the probability assigned to causal claims, on how properties are generalized and on learning. These effects follow from two properties of the structure of explanations: explanations accommodate novel information in the context of prior beliefs, and do so in a way that fosters generalization. The study of explanation thus promises to shed light on core cognitive issues, such as learning, induction and conceptual representation. Moreover, the influence of explanation on learning and inference presents a challenge to theories that neglect the roles of prior knowledge and explanation-based reasoning.
Keywords explanation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.tics.2006.08.004
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,436
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Studies in the Logic of Explanation.Carl Gustav Hempel & Paul Oppenheim - 1948 - Philosophy of Science 15 (2):135-175.
Explanatory Unification and the Causal Structure of the World.Philip Kitcher - 1989 - In Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.), Scientific Explanation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 410-505.
Explanatory Coherence (Plus Commentary).Paul Thagard - 1989 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 12 (3):435-467.
Scientific Explanation and the Sense of Understanding.J. D. Trout - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):212-233.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Three Kinds of Idealization.Michael Weisberg - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (12):639-659.

View all 61 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Forms of Causal Explanation.Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Robrecht Vanderbeeken - 2005 - Foundations of Science 10 (4):437-454.
The Logical Skeleton of Darwin's Historical Methodology.Mary B. Williams - 1986 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:514 - 521.
Function Attributions and Functional Explanations.Berent Enç - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (3):343-365.
Function Statements.Peter Achinstein - 1977 - Philosophy of Science 44 (3):341-367.
Can Intentional and Functional Explanations of Actions Coexist?Rob Vanderbeeken - 2006 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 9:143-147.
Grounding Explanations.Louis deRosset - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
The Chromosome Theory of Mendelian Inheritance: Explanation and Realism in Theory Construction.Marga Vicedo - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:179 - 191.
Causation, Unification, and the Adequacy of Explanations of Facts.Jeroen van Bouwel - 2009 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 24 (3):301-320.
R. K. Merton's Concepts of Function and Functionalism.Hugh Lehman - 1966 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 9 (1-4):274 – 283.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-01-21

Total views
77 ( #152,018 of 2,520,401 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #100,785 of 2,520,401 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes