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Explanations in software engineering: the pragmatic point of view

Jan De Winter UGent (2010) Minds and Machines. 20(2). p.277-289
abstract
This article reveals that explanatory practice in software engineering is in accordance with pragmatic explanatory pluralism, which states that explanations should at least partially be evaluated by their practical use. More specifically, I offer a defense of the idea that several explanation-types are legitimate in software engineering, and that the appropriateness of an explanation-type depends on (a) the engineer’s interests, and (b) the format of the explanation-seeking question he asks, with this format depending on his interests. This idea is defended by considering examples that are representative for explanatory practice in software engineering. Different kinds of technological explanation are spelled out, and the dependence of their appropriateness on interests and question-formats is extensively illustrated.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Explanatory power, Explanation, Explanatory pluralism, Engineering, Epistemic interests
journal title
Minds and Machines
editor
James H Moor
volume
20
issue
2
pages
277 - 289
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000279198400007
JCR category
COMPUTER SCIENCE, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
JCR impact factor
0.618 (2010)
JCR rank
90/108 (2010)
JCR quartile
4 (2010)
ISSN
0924-6495
DOI
10.1007/s11023-010-9190-2
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
924776
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-924776
date created
2010-04-13 16:14:02
date last changed
2015-06-17 11:24:32
@article{924776,
  abstract     = {This article reveals that explanatory practice in software engineering is in accordance with pragmatic explanatory pluralism, which states that explanations should at least partially be evaluated by their practical use. More specifically, I offer a defense of the idea that several explanation-types are legitimate in software engineering, and that the appropriateness of an explanation-type depends on (a) the engineer{\textquoteright}s interests, and (b) the format of the explanation-seeking question he asks, with this format depending on his interests. This idea is defended by considering examples that are representative for explanatory practice in software engineering. Different kinds of technological explanation are spelled out, and the dependence of their appropriateness on interests and question-formats is extensively illustrated.},
  author       = {De Winter, Jan},
  editor       = {Moor, James H},
  issn         = {0924-6495},
  journal      = {Minds and Machines},
  keyword      = {Explanatory power,Explanation,Explanatory pluralism,Engineering,Epistemic interests},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {277--289},
  title        = {Explanations in software engineering: the pragmatic point of view},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11023-010-9190-2},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
De Winter, Jan. 2010. “Explanations in Software Engineering: The Pragmatic Point of View.” Ed. James H Moor. Minds and Machines 20 (2): 277–289.
APA
De Winter, J. (2010). Explanations in software engineering: the pragmatic point of view. (J. H. Moor, Ed.)Minds and Machines, 20(2), 277–289.
Vancouver
1.
De Winter J. Explanations in software engineering: the pragmatic point of view. Moor JH, editor. Minds and Machines. 2010;20(2):277–89.
MLA
De Winter, Jan. “Explanations in Software Engineering: The Pragmatic Point of View.” Ed. James H Moor. Minds and Machines 20.2 (2010): 277–289. Print.