ONE of the questions which we have been considering is this: ‘What distinguishes social science from social observation?’ We have already touched upon the answer in comparing social science with history. If what we have said is correct, social observers are typically interested in establishing statements about particular events and the operation of particular causes. On the other hand, social scientists proper attempt to do more than this; they try to establish sound generalizations about classes of events. In brief, an important difference between social observation and social science lies in the kind of conclusion they hope to establish. Thus the full answer to any question about the relation of these two fields to each other must include some scrutiny of the methods by which these conclusions are reached. And to examine the methods is also to examine the structure of the arguments that support the conclusions. The advancing of such arguments is called ‘giving an explanation’.