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Paul Oppenhiem (1885-1977)

  • Logic of Explanation

    On this date in 1948 Paul Oppenheim and Carl G. Hempel published their philosophy on explanations. They named it The Logic of Explanation. Which is a look into the scientific question of "why" as opposed to the normal "what" question
  • Oar in Water

    Within this study Oppenheim and Hempel have discussed the phenomena of when a person is using an oar to propel a boat forward, when you look into the water the oar appears to be bent. Now to explain that they used general laws such as the law of refraction and that water is an optically denser medium than air. Which all put together makes it appear that the oar is bent.
  • "Why" with general Laws

    Following the last example of refraction they asked another why question. This time "Why does the propagation of light conform to the law of refraction?"
  • Light Answer

    They answered the why of why the propagation of light conforms to the law of refraction, by using classical physics. Which is the undulatory theory of light, which is the propagation of light is a wave phenomenon of a certain general type and that all wave phenomena of that type satisfies the law of refraction.
  • citation

    Oppenheim, P., & Hempel, C. G. (1948). Studies in the Logic of Explanation. Philosophy of Science, 15(2), 135–175. https://doi.org/http://www.sfu.ca/~jillmc/Hempel%20and%20Oppenheim.pdf