Erkenntnis 29 (1):1 - 33 (1988)
In this paper an attempt is made at developing the notion of a real and complete empirical explanation as excluding all forms of potential or incomplete explanations. This explanation is, however, no longer conceived as the proper aim of empirical science, for it can certainly be gleaned from recent epistemological publications that no comprehensive notion of a real and complete scientific explanation is likely to be constructed from within empirical science. Contrary to common understanding the empirical explanation, deductive-nomological as well as statistical explanation, is considered here only as motive of scientific activities, i.e., as common aim of a transcending cooperation of scientific and non-scientific social practice. Following from this the proper aim of empirical science now consists in the development of practically relevant explanatory theories.This redetermination of the aim of scientific activities of empirical science also means criticism of the unification of deductive-nomological and statistical explanations, as it has been proposed by Wolfgang Stegmüller in his pragmatisch-epistemische Wende. For both forms of empirical explanation must be referred to fundamentally different kinds of practical relevance, the former playing a more important role in the advancement of social practice. Stegmüller's development of a comprehensive probabilistic notion of empirical explanation, as tied up to pragmatic knowledge-situations, in a way already transcends a scientifically immanent determination of it, but he seems to have stopped halfway on the road to practically relevant empirical explanations. Several insufficiencies with his probabilistic notion of empirical explanation are shown up in this paper as a consequence of his abiding by pragmatic, and not penetrating to practical, knowledge-situations. The final result of it, however, consists in a clarification and a modification of the concept of deductive-nomological explanation, originally developed by Hempel and Oppenheim.
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References found in this work BETA
The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - Harcourt, Brace & World.
Aspects of Scientific Explanation.Carl Gustav Hempel - 1965 - In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Free Press. pp. 504.
Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals.David Hume - 1975 - Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
An “Empirical Science” of Literature.Edmund Nierlich - 2005 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):351 - 376.
Eine Konstruktivistische Grundlegung der Objekte Empirisch-Wissenschaftlicher TheorienA Constructivist Foundation of the Objects of Scientific Empirical Theories.Edmund Nierlich - 1990 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 21 (1):75-104.
An “Empirical Science” of Literature.Edmund Nierlich - 2005 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):351-376.
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