Explaining Explanations

Zeiger, P. / Published 2010 / Presentation

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Presenter H. Paul Zeiger, Ph.D.
Date October 2, 2010
Abstract: In many of our roles – teachers, parents, mangers, therapists – we are regularly called upon to give explanations, and at other times we listen to or read explanations presented by others. Sometimes they succeed better than at other times. What makes for a successful explanation? What makes something qualify as an explanation at all? What situations call for one? In the slogan “If you have a good enough description, you don’t need an explanation” -- why? How might we detect something else, say a sales pitch or a bunch of gobbledygook, masquerading as an explanation? Answers to these and related questions will be explored in the form of a conversation.
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