Author: Mayes, G.R.
Source: Argumentation, Volume 14, Number 4, November 2000 , pp. 361-380(20)
Abstract:Although explanation is widely regarded as an important concept in the study of rational inquiry, it remains largely unexplored outside the philosophy of science. This, I believe, is not due to oversight as much as to institutional resistance. In analytic philosophy it is basic that epistemic rationality is a function of justification and that justification is a function of argument. Explanation, however, is not argument nor is belief justification its function. I argue here that the task of incorporating explanation into the theory of rational inquiry poses a serious challenge to our basic concept of epistemic rationality as well as the a priori method of inquiry that still lies at the heart of analytic philosophy. Specifically, it pushes us toward a much stronger form of naturalism than is generally thought necessary, one in which argument and explanation are recognized as distinct and equally fundamental cognitive processes whose dynamic relationship is one of the central issues in the theory of rationality.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: California State University Sacramento, Department of Philosophy, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6033, USA E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: November 1, 2000