An explanation is a set of statements constructed to describe a set of facts which clarifies the causes, context, and consequences of those facts.
This description may establish rules or laws, and may clarify the existing ones in relation to any objects, or phenomena examined. The components of an explanation can be implicit, and be interwoven with one another.
An explanation is often underpinned by an understanding that is represented by different media such as music, text, and graphics. Thus, an explanation is subjected to interpretation, and discussion.
In scientific research, explanation is one of the purposes of research, e.g., exploration and description. Explanation is a way to uncover new knowledge, and to report relationships among different aspects of studied phenomena. Explanations have varied explanatory power.
Famous quotes containing the word explanation:
“To develop an empiricist account of science is to depict it as involving a search for truth only about the empirical world, about what is actual and observable.... It must involve throughout a resolute rejection of the demand for an explanation of the regularities in the observable course of nature, by means of truths concerning a reality beyond what is actual and observable, as a demand which plays no role in the scientific enterprise.”
—Bas Van Fraassen (b. 1941)
“Herein is the explanation of the analogies, which exist in all the arts. They are the re-appearance of one mind, working in many materials to many temporary ends. Raphael paints wisdom, Handel sings it, Phidias carves it, Shakspeare writes it, Wren builds it, Columbus sails it, Luther preaches it, Washington arms it, Watt mechanizes it. Painting was called silent poetry, and poetry speaking painting. The laws of each art are convertible into the laws of every other.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“Are cans constitutionally iffy? Whenever, that is, we say that we can do something, or could do something, or could have done something, is there an if in the offingsuppressed, it may be, but due nevertheless to appear when we set out our sentence in full or when we give an explanation of its meaning?”
—J.L. (John Langshaw)