From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Stanford University Professor Robert I. Sutton, a noted speaker, using a gesture to help explain a concept.

Explanationism is a concept of Wikipedia's purpose as being to some degree based in explanations – the human art of expressing and sharing understanding, and not just facts. Facts, figures and statistics are great. But without explanations to put these into context, or to help conceptualize their broader meaning, these facts are useless to everyone but experts who can interpret them.

Explanationism requires having sufficient respect for people – even those who may lack understanding – such that they may gain understanding. Explanationists consider explanations to be an expression of good will.

Formulating and crafting "explanations" runs counter to the human tendency to express ourselves in colloquial and local (non-universal) concepts. Likewise it runs in defiance to ideas about the protection of concepts through secrecy, exclusivism, hidden information, professional jargon, in-jokes, obfuscation, or cultures of silence.