On Explanatory Games
STUDENT: Explanations emerge as participants play a specific explanatory game following the respective rules of the game. Different rules make up different games and they constrain the explanatory strategies that the participants are allowed to undertake.
PHILIP: But the rules cannot merely constrain the participants, I guess. At the end they are enabling them to provide the requested explanations.
STUDENT: Rules should be also seen along this enabling dimension—this is certainly important, since they simultaneously embed the entire history of the game.
PHILIP: How exactly?
STUDENT: Explanation should be seen as a process unfolding in historical time rather than as an outcome. The task is to highlight the complex process of explanation rather than to pose the issue as if explanation were static. During an evolutionary process of trial and error, explanatory activities are undertaken according to the rules of the game and a prevalent flow of explanations is produced, tested and retained...