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deductive nomological explanation
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: D-N; deductive-nomological reasoning; deductive reasoning
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: A formal method of explanation based on the testing of hypotheses derived from general laws. A general law is established, the ramifications are deduced, and the ramifications are then used to explain a specific set of data. Some archaeologists believe that this is the appropriate way to explain cultural processes.
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: The end product of scientific research. In archaeology, explanation describes what happened in the past, and when, where, how, and why it happened.
idealist explanation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: Any rationalistic account of human goals and of the universe in general. A form of explanation stressing the search for insights into the historical circumstances leading up to the event by studying the ideas and motives of the individuals involved.
monocausal explanation
CATEGORY: technique
DEFINITION: An explanation of culture change (e.g. for state origins) which lays stress on a single dominant explanatory factor of prime mover.

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