Fallacies of Explanation

An explanation is a form of reasoning which attempts to answer the question "why?" For example, it is with an explanation that we answer questions such as, "Why is the sky blue?"

A good explanation will be based on a scientific or empirical theory. The explanation of why the sky is blue will be given in terms of the composition of the sky and theories of reflection.

The following are fallacies of explanation:

  • Subverted Support (The phenomenon being explained doesn't exist)
  • Non-support (Evidence for the phenomenon being explained is biased)
  • Untestability (The theory which explains cannot be tested)
  • Limited Scope (The theory which explains can only explain one thing)
  • Limited Depth (The theory which explains does not appeal to underlying causes)
10 August 1996