Science & Education

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1531–1548

Explanatory Identities and Conceptual Change


DOI: 10.1007/s11191-014-9682-1

Cite this article as:
Thagard, P. Sci & Educ (2014) 23: 1531. doi:10.1007/s11191-014-9682-1


Although mind-brain identity remains controversial, many other identities of ordinary things with scientific ones are well established. For example, air is a mixture of gases, water is H2O, and fire is rapid oxidation. This paper examines the history of 15 important identifications: air, blood, cloud, earth, electricity, fire, gold, heat, light, lightning, magnetism, salt, star, thunder, and water. This examination yields surprising conclusions about the nature of justification, explanation, and conceptual change.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada