AskDefine | Define explication

Dictionary Definition



1 the act of making clear or removing obscurity from the meaning of a word or symbol or expression etc.
2 a detailed explanation of the meaning of something

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The act of opening, unfolding, or explaining; explanation; exposition; interpretation.
  2. The sense given by an expositor.

Related terms



  • lang=fr|/ɛk.spli.ka.sjɔ̃/
  • /Ek.spli.ka.sjO~/


fr-noun f

Related terms

Extensive Definition

About explication


The idea and practice of explication is rooted in the verb to explicate, which concerns the process of "unfolding", of "making clear" the meaning of things, of "spreading out to view" that which is implicit.
According to Carnap, explication can be regarded as a scientific process which transforms and replaces "an inexact prescientific concept" (which he calls the explicandum), with a "new exact concept" (which he calls the explicatum). A thesis which describes and explains the new explicit knowledge is usually called an "Explication".

Explication as a verb.. and explication as a noun

When working with explication, it is essential to be clear, and to make clear whether you are dealing with the explication process (and hence working with the verb or gerund) or dealing with the work which documents, describes and explains the new knowledge, i.e the Explication itself (a noun).

Explication and literary criticism

Explication is often associated with its use in literary criticism, specifically explication de texte, where additional understandings and meanings are derived from the "close reading" of a poem, novel or play.
In this process explication often involves a line-by-line or episode-by-episode commentary on what is going on in a text. While initially this might seem reasonably innocuous, explication de texte, and explication per se, is an interpretative process where the resulting new knowledge, new insights or new meanings, are open to subsequent debate and disaffirmation by others.

Explication in other discourses

Along with its use in literary criticism, other disciplines and professions employ the idea and practice of explication, such as those summarized in The Scratchpad Wikia - art of explication. In addition On Explicationis devoted to the idea and practice of explication.


Carnap, R. (1950). Logical foundations of probability, University of Chicago Press, Illinois.
explication in Danish: Eksplikation
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