In the beginning of the 20th century many philosophers like E. Mach or P. Duhem were convicted that explaining facts is the aim of metaphysics rather than of science. Yet C. G. Hempel and P. Oppenheim, who represented the received view, has worked out the logical reconstruction of scientific explanation and their famous paper 'Studies in the Logic of Scientific Explanation' (1948) began a discussion about nature and various models of scientific explanation. The article is an introduction to scientific explanation, which is very widely discussed in philosophy of science. This concept has many connexions with such fundamental issues as controversy between scientific realism and antirealism, causality and nature of scientific law. The article reveals place of scientific explanation among other epistemic values such as truth, simplicity and coherence, give its short history since Aristotle and typology offered by E. Nagel, who distinguishes the deductive, probabilistic, teleological (functional) and genetic types of explanation.
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