By Rom Harré (auth.)
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Additional resources for An Introduction to the Logic of the Sciences
They are implicit in the selection of such and such conditions as the set necessary and sufficient to bring about happenings of the kind to be explained. The requirement that explanation and happening should be ofthe same logical status is satisfied by our giving as the explanation a class of antecedent happenings. We explain why fires die down by saying 'Their flues get blocked'. Ila. General Hyperbolic Explanation. The giving of a generalization in explanation of a class of happenings does not differ at first sight from a particular hyperbolic explanation, for a general statement of relevancy can link classes of happenings as readily as particular happenings.
III. Explanation in Detail. What we might call an explanation in detail combines the linear and hyperbolic by making explicit both parts of a complete explanation. We set out in detail those antecedent happenings which are to be regarded as causes and by stating explicitly the requisite generalizations that justify the relevance of each we leave nothing understood. An explanation in detail of the dying of the fire might be 'Fires die out when their flues are blocked and this flue is blocked'. 'Seeking an explanation' can be understood on the same basis of generalization and relevant particular as 'giving an explanation'.
In the case of a single happening for example, understanding would obviously be facilitated by the replacement of a relevancy 28 The Logic of the Sciences generalization that was expressed in the theoretical terms of an unfamiliar science by one which expressed the same relation concretely in terms with which we were familiar. An explanation of the jet-engine can be given in terms of the analogy with the firing of a bullet from a gun. We are all familiar with the fact that there is a tendency for the gun to go in the opposite direction from the bullet.
An Introduction to the Logic of the Sciences by Rom Harré (auth.)