Home » Exploring explication » Replacing the explicandum, with a better one, the explicatum

Replacing the explicandum, with a better one, the explicatum

Explication consists in replacing a vague or otherwise defective pre-theoretical concept, the explicandum, with a better one, the explicatum

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For Carnap “the task of explication consists in transforming a given more or less inexact concept into an exact one or, rather, in replacing the first by the second.” cf. Carnap, R. (1950) Logical foundations of probability, University of Chicago Press, Illinois.

For Mautner (1996) “an explication consists in replacing a vague or otherwise defective pre-theoretical concept, the explicandum, with a better one, the explicatum. The new concept must be similar to the old, but more precise or in some other way more adequate for theoretical purposes. Explication differs from analysis in that the aim is not to lay bare what is implicit in a given concept, but rather to lay down the meaning of the new concept…” Mautner, T. (1996). The Penguin dictionary of philosophy, Penguin Books, London. p. 189.

Williamson, J. (2011) “Ideas of the century: Explication 49/50”, The Philosphers Magazine, Issue 50. Click here to reach the journal and use the search engine. (Last retrieved May 2013)

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Carnap’s Four Tests

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Page last saved:  09 May 2013