1.a detailed explanation of the meaning of something
2.the act of making clear or removing obscurity from the meaning of a word or symbol or expression etc.
ExplicationEx`pli*ca"tion (?), n. [L. explicatio: cf. F. explication.]
1. The act of opening, unfolding, or explaining; explanation; exposition; interpretation.
The explication of our Savior's parables. Atterbury.
2. The sense given by an expositor. Bp. Burnet.
definition of Wikipedia
action de (ou fait d'être) (fr)[Classe...]
action, fait de dire (fr)[Classe...]
(contravention; transgression; invasion; offense; penal offence; breach of the law; infraction of the law; infringement of the law; transgression of the law; violation of the law; lapse; misdemeanor; misdemeanour; infraction; violation; infringement; breach; desecration; evildoing), (legal rule; rule of law), (justice)[Thème]
(sense; meaning), (literally)[termes liés]
science biblique (fr)[Classe]
traduction d'une langue (fr)[Classe]
loi : terme du domaine (fr)[DomainRegistre]
account, account for, answer for, explain away, justify, warrant - account, describe, report - account for, explain - conceptualisation, conceptualization, formulation - explication - explanation - explication - explanatory, explicative, explicatory, illustrative[Dérivé]
The idea and practice of explication is rooted in the verb to explicate, which concerns the process of "unfolding" and of "making clear" the meaning of things, so as to make the implicit explicit. The expression "explication" is used in both analytic philosophy and literary theory.
Explication can be regarded as a scientific process which transforms and replaces "an inexact prescientific concept" (which Carnap calls the explicandum), with a "new exact concept" (which he calls the explicatum). An extended document, like an essay or thesis which describes and explains the new explicit knowledge, is usually called an "Explication". But an explication may also be contained and expressed in shorter formats, such as in paragraphs and sentences, which are deliberately drafted to emphasise the nature and impact of new explicit knowledge which draws on, and are improvements upon, previous knowledge.
An explication in the Carnapian sense is purely stipulative, and thus a subclass of normative definitions. Hence, an explication can not be true or false, just more or less suitable for its purpose.(Cf. Rorty's argument about the purpose and value of philosophy in Rorty,(2003), “A pragmatist view of contemporary analytic philosophy”, in Egginton, W. and Sandbothe, M. (Eds), The Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy, Suny Press, New York, NY.)
Examples of inexact daily life concepts in need of explication are our concepts of cause and of conditionals. Our daily life concept of cause does not distinguish between necessary causes, sufficient causes, complete causes etc. Each of these more precise concepts is an explication of our natural concept of cause.
Natural language will only specify truth conditions for propositions of the form "If p, then q" for situations where "p" is true. (Most of us probably don't have any clear intuitions regarding the truth conditions of the sentence "If I go out in the sun, I will get sunburned" in situations where I never go out in the sun.) An explication of the conditional will also specify truth conditions for situations where "p" is not true.
Carnap's argument provides a helpful foundation in understanding and clarifying the nature and value of explication in defining and describing "new" knowledge.
Others' reviews of Carnap's argument offer additional insights about the nature of explication. In particular, Bonolio's paper (2003) "Kant’s Explication and Carnap’s Explication: The Redde Rationem", and Maher's (2007) "Explication defended", add weight to the argument that explication is an appropriate methodology for formal philosophy.
When working with explication, it is essential to be clear, and to make clear whether you are dealing with the explication process (and hence working with the verb or gerund), or dealing with the outcomes of the process, such as a work which documents, describes and explains the new explicit knowledge.
Based on the etymology of the word explication, studies using explication, and extended argumentation we can deduce that explication in the arts, humanities and social sciences is largely an interpretative process where the outcomes - the new explicit knowledge - is open to subsequent dispute, with the possibility of additional and/or different meanings being derived in the future.
On this argument, new explicit knowledge is therefore contingent and context specific. New explicit knowledge is also informed by the explicant's competence in dealing with the explication process, plus an ethical concern that the outcomes (i.e. the new explicit knowledge) can be considered to be an improvement and "true" (i.e. not yet disaffirmed). (cf. Harrison, 2006).
Explication is often associated with its use in literary criticism, specifically explication de texte, where additional understandings and meanings are derived from the "close reading" of a poem, novel or play.
In this process explication often involves a line-by-line or episode-by-episode commentary on what is going on in a text. While initially this might seem reasonably innocuous, explication de texte, and explication per se, is an interpretative process where the resulting new knowledge, new insights or new meanings, are open to subsequent debate and disaffirmation by others.
Along with its use in literary criticism, other disciplines and professions employ the idea and practice of explication, such as those summarized in the wiki art of explication. In addition, Introducing explication is devoted to the idea and practice of explication, plus a related blog as from March 2011.
Bonolio, G. (2003). "Kant’s Explication and Carnap’s Explication: The Redde Rationem", INTERNATIONAL PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY Vol. 43, No. 3, Issue 171, pp. 289–298.
Carnap, R. (1950). Logical foundations of probability, University of Chicago Press, Illinois.
Harrison, S.E. (2006). "Explication without words - A composer's view", Organisations and People, August, Vol.13 (3), pp. 59–63.
Maher, P. (2007) "Explication defended", Studia Logica, Volume 86, Number 2, July 2007, pp. 331–341.
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