Consciousness Thought

On What We Know We Don't Know: Explanation, Theory, by Sylvain Bromberger

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By Sylvain Bromberger

During this choice of essays, Bromberger explores the centrality of questions and predicaments they bring in medical learn. He discusses the character of clarification, concept, and the rules of linguistics.

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But this would draw us into a veritable philosophic Sargasso Sea: theories, facts, events, propositions, items of information, discoveries, principles. . The list seems to have no end, and each of its entries may ensnare and choke us. Fortunately, no such list is needed. The transformation of someone into one who can explain something does not always include an explaining episode. We noted in the previous section that one can achieve this by oneself. The change can often be initiated by informing the tutee of things that will put him in a position to work out the answer and to correct by himself the deficiencies responsible for his predicament.

And in the others (d) could not be satisfied. In the remaining cases, where the tutee does not think that he knows the form of the answer, he is in a situation analogous to the one that I described as mine with regard to the question about the Debye temperature, and thus not in a p-predicament because in no position to reject possibilities apt to occur to him. If the tutor believes that this is the situation, (d) is not satisfied. One can also imagine cases where the tutee is thought of as in a position to reject every kind of unit of which he is aware but as not aware of the right kind of unit.

1, sec. 5. An Approach to Explanation 35 itself but is a member of a set of conditions whose disjunction is a necessary condition, (d). At the beginning of this discussion I pointed out that a good analysis of explaining episodes should show why some indirect questions are out of place as direct objects of ‘to explain’. An account could be built on the second hypothesis. That account would not rest on any of the “totally dispensible” clauses listed above, and may therefore be part of the truth.

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