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A Is What Is To Be Explained!

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on December 18, 2004 20:30:04 UTC

Then you agree that "physical phenomena" are irrelevant until "physical phenomena" are defined?

With regard to my "unorthodox" definition of "explanation" I think you are being rather provincial there! The dictionary gives the following definition of "explanation":

1. - "an explaining" [which seems to me to be subterfuge on the rule about using a word in its definition]

2. - "something that explains" [likewise]

3. - "the interpretation, meaning, or sense given in explaining" [boy it's getting clearer by the moment]

4. - "a mutual defining of terms, declaration of motives, etc. to clear up a misunderstanding or settle a dispute"

My position is that the "orthodox" definition doesn't really exist; it is just presumed to be understood. Furthermore, I think every sense alluded to in the dictionary is consistent with my exact definition.

You are absolutely in error on your first statement: "In the case of the both universes, set A is known only to God and the demon." This is most definitely not consistent with my definition of A! Set A is the information to be explained; in the picture you present you define A as something not available to you and an explanation of information not available to you is a meaningless concept. In my definition, A is what is to be explained; A is the collection of elements being passed to you by "God" in one case and "the demon" in the other. A is the set of elements from which B is taken. From the perspective of my definitions, your division into two cases is entirely spurious. The existence or non-existence of either "God" or "the demon" has absolutely no bearing on the problem at hand.

Every element of B is an element of A by definition! "B is a set, defined to be an unordered finite collection of elements of A"

Your question 15 is totally equivalent to presuming an explanation of "Dante's Inferno" is something to be reasonably obtained from reading "Little House on the Prairie". You got there by failing to relate the information to be explained with the information available to the analysis. Of course, I absolutely agree that an explanation not based on the information to be explained is not a valid explanation by anyone's interpretation of the definition of an explanation. And I do not propose to include such a thing as a valid member of the set of things called explanations. If you do, than I think it is you who is going off the deep end of orthodoxy.


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