Philosophy, the logical positivists recognized, cannot provide scientific explanations or for that matter explanations that compete with those of science. What it could provide was an “explicit definition” or a “rational reconstruction” or what would now be called a “conceptual analysis” of scientific explanation. Though such an analysis would give the meaning of the concept of explanation, it would be more than a dictionary definition. A dictionary definition merely reports how scientists and others actually use the words “scientific explanation.” Positivists and the philosophers of science who continue their tradition of philosophical analysis seek a check list of conditions that any scientific explanation should satisfy. When all are satisfied, the check list guarantees the scientific adequacy of an explanation. In other words, the traditional approach seeks a set of conditions individually necessary and jointly sufficient for something’s being a scientific explanation. This “rational reconstruction” of the dictionary definition would render the concept of scientific explanation precise and logically clear.