Alex Peek blog

List of posts    Blog archive    About


Saturday, June 2, 2018

What is an explanation?


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Smithsonian Institution


What is an explanation? I have two definitions:


An explanation is a description of why something happened or happens


An explanation is a description that makes something clear


Explanations are important for understanding reality. Sometimes we encounter mysterious phenomena that put us in a state of wonder. Explanations shine light on the mysteries of reality.


I believe there's not a sharp line between what information qualifies for an explanation and what doesn't. In this regard, we subjectively determine the most important aspects to include in an explanation. Remember that clarity and understanding is the goal. An explanation can be as short as a single sentence.



License: CC BY-SA 4.0