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The Existence of God$
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Richard Swinburne

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199271672

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271672.001.0001

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The Nature of Explanation

The Nature of Explanation

Chapter:
(p.23) 2 The Nature of Explanation
Source:
The Existence of God
Author(s):

Richard Swinburne (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199271672.003.0003

There are two kinds of explanation of phenomena — scientific explanation in terms of laws of nature and initial conditions, or (on a preferable analysis of laws of nature) in terms of objects and their powers and liabilities; and personal explanation in terms of persons, their powers, intentions, and beliefs. Some observable phenomena are explained as brought about by persons, others as brought about by natural laws. But there can only be two explanations of a phenomena if one explains the operation of the factors involved in the other. Explanations of phenomena as brought about by God are personal explanations.

Keywords:   scientific explanation, initial conditions, laws of nature, personal explanation, belief

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