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This paper listed and analyzed several counterexamples to
find some drawbacks of the theory of Hempel’s account. In some cases, his
requirements are even not necessary for explanation. The main arguments to
support the view is as follows.

Although there are some derivations which meet the
explanation requirements of Hempel, the premises have no relevance to the
explanation’s conclusion. The irrelevance is fatal to explanation also embodied
in the explanatorily irrelevant information in the explanans. Not the
information is richer, the explanandum can be explained more fully and
reasonably. Sometimes, it is the weaker information enhance the explanatory
power. When it comes to the symmetry, if the relation of explanation is not
asymmetric, it should be not symmetric and the converse is also true. The
author also discusses the proposed cure, the causal condition. It seems that
some lawlike generalization of premises is not necessary. Moreover, the laws
are not an indispensable part in explanation but it plays an important role in
explanation. The author also believes that things can be explained only when it
is described.

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To my point of view, I agree with most of the views of this
paper. But I think the view that things can be explained only when it is
described is not perfectly appropriate. Because he did not discuss a tool that
must be used in the description process, language. As an intermediate medium,
language plays a vital role in both the description of objective things and the
expression of ideas. The validity of language is the expression of ideas, the
precondition of description and explanation. The misuse of language lies in the
uncertainty of the language meaning, and the uncertainty is usually determined
by the characteristics of complex concepts and their feelings and entities. The
purpose of the description is to let others understand inner ideas of our own
(Gadamer 2004). Compared with language, the concept is arbitrary, because the
idea often precedes existence. So language can be regarded as more concise and
effective way to complete and improve ideas. We do not know the essence of the
reality, but we can use the artificial none to represent the set of ideas. Even
if we use the most accurate words to explain and describe, it is not more than
the meaning of the original concept (Gadamer 2004). Since words can only reach
the transitional stage between understanding and truth, as the none is not
equal to the thing itself, and the text is not the understanding of all the
meanings and the corresponding truth, then the word must never be used wrongly
to increase its untrustworthy elements. After all, language is the tool of
cognition. What we need to do is to keep the effectiveness of cognition with
the help of language and human’s concept, while avoiding word defects as much
as possible.

 

 

Reference

 

Gadamer, H. 2004, ‘Truth and Method’, New York: Continuum
Press.

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