versión On-line ISSN 1851-9636
CRESTO, Eleonora. ¿Cuándo preguntar "¿por qué?"?: Observaciones sobre la dinámica de las preguntas y respuestas en una investigación científica. Anal. filos. [online]. 2007, vol.27, n.2, pp. 101-117. ISSN 1851-9636.
In this paper I take scientific explanations to be answers to questions, though not necessarily to why-questions. This, however, is not meant to imply that why-questions are not fundamental in their own peculiar way. As I understand it, why-questions are crucial elements in any research process because they are able to organize and systematize an agent's belief set. In order to justify my claim I start by identifying three basic stages in which whyquestions can arise, and then I proceed to characterize their structure. I also show how to use this analysis to elucidate the notion of comparative unification power of rival hypotheses. The notion of comparative unification power, in turn, can be thought of as one of the criteria that we should take into account at the time of assessing which of such rival hypotheses is the best explanation available, comparatively speaking.
Palabras clave : Why-questions; Scientific explanation; Inference to the best explanation; Unification; Pragmatist epistemology.