Philosophy and the Illusion of Explanatory Depth

Justin W., Daily Nous, Feb 21, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes
files/images/toilet.png

After reading this I was motivated to look up how a toilet works on YouTube. I'm fairly confident I understand the mechanics, but I don't really have an explanation. Why doesn't the bowl simple lose water when the flapper is opened; why does the water rush out as though it is being sucked out of the toilet? Everything in the toilet is actually pulled uphill.  I think it has something to do with pressure differentials or gravity (the way a siphon does) but I'm not sure, and the videos didn't help me. And that's why this article is interesting. Knowing the facts doesn't give me the explanation, which is why a mere presentation of the facts doesn't change (or inform) opinions. "Confronting and working through the complicated details of an issue... may be the only form of thinking that will shatter the illusion of explanatory depth and change people’s attitudes."

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