An explanation of something described by a set of statements S is a set of
statements that deductively
This is a convenient
definition because it implies that explanations can be supported and refuted
by their consequences. It is a bit strict in that many explanations that are
at least practically sufficient are given in terms of analogies or leave much open
to be filled in by proper understanding.
Explanations need not be known to be true and indeed need not be true to be
perfectly good explanations. Similarly, they need not be
believed whether they
are true or not.
And many explanations, or attempted explanations, do not get much farther
than a suggestion of a possible cause, either because the suggestion is
supposed to lead nowhere, or a better explanation is found.