Hempel DN argument - Hempels D-N Model Hempels D-N model...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Hempel’s D-N Model Hempel’s D-N model outlines the way an explanation should be formulated and stipulates the characteristics it must have. In short, statement S is an explanation if S contains both an explanans and explanandum. An explanation is, in essence, an argument, with laws and conditions making up the explanans and the explanandum being reached via the explanans. The explanans must meet three criteria and the explanandum must meet one criterion. If these criteria are met, says Hempel, the explanation is ‘good’. The first criterion of the explanans is that it must contain one general law. A general law is a true universal generalization. It is not merely a generalization that is “accidentally true”. An accidentally true generalization such as “all the people that walk into this classroom are students or professors” does not offer any real explanation and, therefore, is not a law. The second parameter for the explanans is that it must contain empirical content. This idea is rather complex, but it generally means that the statements of the explanans are not simply true by nature of definition. Using the “S is a bachelor” argument as an explanation to the question “Why isn’t S married?” offers no explanation as to why he is not married, it simply classifies him by a property that is built in to the definition of “bachelor.” While this generalization is not accidental, it contains nothing that actually accounts for the fact that he is unmarried. The final
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 2

Hempel DN argument - Hempels D-N Model Hempels D-N model...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online