By Lorenzo Magnani

ISBN-10: 3642036309

ISBN-13: 9783642036309

This quantity explores abductive cognition, a massive yet, at the very least until eventually the 3rd area of the final century, missed subject in cognition. The booklet goals at expanding wisdom approximately artistic and specialist inferences. The examine of those high-levelmethods of abductive reasoning is located on the crossroads of philosophy, good judgment, epistemology, man made intelligence, neuroscience, cognitive psychology, animal cognition and evolutionary theories; that's, on the middle of cognitive technology. Philosophers of technological know-how within the 20th century have normally amazing among the inferential approaches lively within the good judgment of discovery and those energetic within the common sense of justification. so much have concluded that no common sense of inventive tactics exists and, in addition, rational version of discovery is most unlikely. briefly, clinical inventive inferences are irrational and there's no “reasoning” to hypotheses. however, a little research within the zone of man-made intelligence has proven that equipment for discovery will be discovered which are computationally sufficient for rediscovering – or studying for the 1st time – empirical or theoretical legislation and theorems.

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Selective abduction will always produce hypotheses that give at least a partial explanation and therefore have a small amount of initial plausibility. In the syllogistic view (see below) concerning abduction as inference to the best explanation advocated by Peirce one might require that the final chosen explanation be the most plausible. When we speak of abduction as inference to the best explanation, we have to note that the adjective “best” has to be taken in a Pickwickian sense: actually abduction 14 15 16 A clear reconstruction of Kepler’s discovery is given in [Gorman, 1998].

This distinction needs further clarification. It is clear that the two meanings are related to the distinction between hypothesis generation and hypothesis evaluation, so abduction is the process of generating explanatory hypotheses, and induction matches the hypothetico-deductive method of hypothesis testing (1st meaning). However, we have to remember (as we have already stressed) that sometimes in the literature (and also in Peirce’s texts) the word abduction is also referred to the whole cycle, that is as an inference to the best explanation (2nd meaning).

19 Some authors have raised doubts about the online/off-line distinction on the grounds that no thinking agent is ever wholly on-line or wholly off-line. I think this distinction is at least useful from an epistemological perspective as a way of theoretically illustrating different cognitive levels, which in the following chapters will be further analyzed and seen at work, in human and animal cognition. We know that throughout his career Peirce defended the thesis that, besides deduction and induction,20 there is a third mode of inference that constitutes the only method for really improving scientific knowledge, which he called abduction.

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Abductive Cognition: The Epistemological and Eco-Cognitive Dimensions of Hypothetical Reasoning by Lorenzo Magnani


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