We, modern western human beings, members of the greco-judeo-christian cultural tradition to which modern science belongs, like to explain and to ask questions that demand an explanation for their answer. Furthermore, if we are in the mood of asking a question that demands an explanation, we become pacified only when we find an explanatory answer to our question. However, what does take place in an explanation? What must happen for us to say that given phenomenon or situation has been explained?
If we attend to what we do in daily life whenever we answer a question with a discourse that is accepted by a listener as an explanation, we may notice two things: a) that what we do is to propose a reformulation of a particular situation of our praxis of living; and b) that our reformulation of our praxis of living is accepted by the listener as a reformulation of his or her praxis of living. Thus, for example, the statement "You were made by your mother in her belly" becomes an explanation when a child accepts it as an answer to his or her question, "Mother, how was I born?" In other words, daily life reveals to us that it is the observer who accepts or rejects a statement as a reformulation of a particular situation of his or her praxis of living with elements of other situations of his or her praxis of living, who determines whether that statement is or is not an explanation. In doing this, the observer accepts or rejects a reformulation of his or praxis of living as an explanation according to whether or not it satisfies an implicit or explicit criterion of acceptability that he or she applies through his or her manner of listening. If the criterion of acceptability applies, the reformulation of the praxis of living is accepted and becomes an explanation, the emotion or mood of the observer shifts from doubt to contentment, and he or she stops asking over and over again the same question. As a result, each manner of listening of the observer that constitutes a criterion for accepting explanatory reformulations of the praxis of living defines a domain of explanations, and the observers who claim to accept the same explanations for their respective praxes of living.
Accordingly, and regardless of whether we are aware of this or not, we observers never listen in a vacuum, we always apply some particular criterion of acceptability to whatever we hear (see, touch, smell....or think), accepting or rejecting it according to whether or not it satisfies such criteria in our listening. Indeed, this is taking place now with the reader of this article.