Just-so story  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Shop


Featured:

Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Enlarge
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A just-so story, also called the ad hoc fallacy, is a term used in academic anthropology, biological sciences, social sciences, and philosophy. It describes an unverifiable and unfalsifiable narrative explanation for a cultural practice, a biological trait, or behavior of humans or other animals. The use of the term is an implicit criticism that reminds the hearer of the essentially fictional and unprovable nature of such an explanation. Such tales are common in folklore and mythology (where they are known as etiological myths — see etiology).

This phrase was popularized by the publication in 1902 of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, containing fictional and deliberately fanciful tales for children, in which the stories pretend to explain animal characteristics, such as the origin of the spots on the leopard.

Some hypotheses that have been labeled as "just so stories" by misinformed critics do indeed have some empirical support.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Just-so story" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools