Foundations of Science

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 411–414 | Cite as

To Explain or to Predict: Which One is Mandatory?

  • Robert W. P. LukEmail author


Recently, Luk mentioned that scientific knowledge both explains and predicts. Do these two functions of scientific knowledge have equal significance, or is one of the two functions more important than the other? This commentary explains why prediction may be mandatory but explanation (based intuitively on our everyday experience) may be only desirable and optional.


Philosophy of science Scientific knowledge Explanation Prediction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ComputingThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung Hom, KowloonHong Kong

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