Is an Explanation a Reason?


Author: Paul Rastall, Independent Academic, UK
Published: December 31, 2022

Citation: Rastall, P. (2022). Is an Explanation a Reason? IAFOR Journal of Arts & Humanities, 9(2).


Are reasons and explanations the same things? The paper considers explanations and reasons in a range of contexts and identifies similarities and differences in them. It is suggested that, while the two notions are linked in reasoning, there is a difference of focus, with reasons being concerned with more general principles and explanations being concerned with the application of principles to specific instances. However, in a “model-dependent reality”, there can be explanations, but not ultimate reasons.


causality, determinism, explanation, reason, reasoning, why and how questions