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In general, scientific theories are developed in order to predict or to explain phenomena:

Prediction is an operation that makes it possible to foresee results of experiments not yet performed, thereby reducing the apparent complexity of the perceivable world [Kampis, 1991].

Explanation is an answer to a `why?' question. If is a presumed empirical fact, then the question ``why is it the case that ?'' is an explanation-seeking question. If is a hypothesis, then the question ``why will occur?'' is a reason-seeking question [Hempel, 1965].
Tue Jan 25 10:37:49 MET 1994