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Theism and Explanation 2: On Explanations in General


2.1 Initial Clarifications
2.2 The Objections Restated

Dawes is just laying more groundwork, looking at proposed, potential, and actual explanations. He says that a potential explanation is one that solves the conundrum below:

1. The surprising fact, E, is observed.
2. But if H were true, H would be a matter of course.
3. Hence, we have reason to believe that H is true.

H is the proposed explanation.

Dawes also gives a lot of different criteria for a good explanation, criteria that might distinguish an explanation from it’s alternatives.

These include degree of testability, coherence with other knowledge, previous success of its research tradition, simplicity, ontological economy, and informativeness.

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