The aim of this contribution is to oﬀer a possible interpretation of scientiﬁc explanation which draws on the work of J. Woodward. The study begins with an overview of Woodward’s approach to scientiﬁc explanation: that is, his distinguishing between (f ) and (f’) demands for valid explanation, his distinguishing between the explanation of a law and the explanation of a unique phenomenon and his demand on the reconstruction of explananda in the course of scientiﬁc explanation. There is then a further distinction made between the modiﬁcational condition introduced into scientiﬁc laws and singular conditions, which are in the course of scientiﬁc explanation added from without to scientiﬁc laws. This diﬀerentiation then enables one to distinguish between the explanation of a law and the explanation of a singular phenomenon. The study ends by showing how explanation comprises heuristic aspects and a change in the original explananda, and delineates several open problems which it is necessary to resolve in the future.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.