Page 84 - MODES of EXPLANATION

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recognized as members of a particular class by subjective mental overlapping of the
singular example with our default concept or prototype.” (Viale, 2013)
“Explanation in clinical medicine is based on the pivotal concept of a complex
mechanistic base – at most a causal concept – the meaning of which is to unify a
collection of separate mechanisms by stable (and not perspective) mechanism­for-
mechanism interrelations. A base, once fixed, on the one hand explains what actually
happens, and on the other hand, by referring to clinical properties, how symptoms
possibly may emerge; thus, a base unifies a mechanistic with a function­analytical
explanatory account. The notion of a patho-mechanism comes in when alternative
explanations for organismic states are already available for choosing one as the
standard and the other ones as deviating cases. Thus, alternative explanations refer to
one and the same complex explanatory base and are therefore entitled to be
differentiated (e.g., when performing differential diagnosis) and compared – and the
clinical explananda of the explanations similarly refer to this base.” (Muller-Strahl,
2014 )
“[T]he applicability of realism to a unit of science is a matter that has to be decided
locally, case by case; the information needed for such decisions has to be acquired
from local sources, by way of detailed empirical investigation of such units; the
identification of the proper unit of science and the proper content of realism is a
locally interactive and empirical matter; any claims about science more broadly
should be based on local philosophical inquiries, in a bottom-up manner.” (Miiki,
2005)
Schank (1982) notes that “when our expectations are found to be in error we must attempt to
explain why. Failures lead to attempts to explain failures. We want to avoid making the same
mistake twice. How? By understanding what principles underlie the expectations that we had
in the first place. We must understand them so we can fix them.” One objective of this
chapter has been to highlight when the seeming opposition of both Science 1/Science 2 and
realism/constructivism has been “in error” and to begin instead to provide a contextual
framework in which these domains and perspectives are concurrent but orthogonal. Both the
domains and perspectives seem to be speaking about related things but not the same things –
related things bound up in a conceptual network (cf. Georgiev, Nagai, & Taura, 2010).
“Since scientific explanation is relative to our descriptions of reality, it is perfectly
appropriate to contend that we ought to pursue the regularities that arise out of these
ontological dependencies at many different levels of explanation, based on alternative
accounts of the phenomena in question, and our diverse explanatory interests. There is
more than one way to conduct nomological inquiry. So we see how even a naturalist
may support a wide range of descriptions of the same phenomena, given our diverse
interests and explanatory goals.” (
Kaidesoja
, 2013)
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