Download Abductive Cognition: The Epistemological and Eco-Cognitive by Lorenzo Magnani PDF

By Lorenzo Magnani

This quantity explores abductive cognition, a massive yet, at the least till the 3rd area of the final century, overlooked subject in cognition. The e-book goals at expanding wisdom approximately inventive and specialist inferences. The learn of those high-levelmethods of abductive reasoning is positioned on the crossroads of philosophy, common sense, epistemology, synthetic 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 characteristically exceptional among the inferential methods energetic within the common sense of discovery and those lively within the good judgment of justification. such a lot have concluded that no good judgment of artistic approaches exists and, furthermore, rational version of discovery is very unlikely. briefly, clinical artistic inferences are irrational and there's no “reasoning” to hypotheses. nevertheless, a little analysis within the quarter of man-made intelligence has proven that tools for discovery may be stumbled on which are computationally sufficient for rediscovering – or gaining knowledge of for the 1st time – empirical or theoretical legislation and theorems.

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In the syllogistic model the event of creating something new (for example a new concept) is considered external to the logical process, so radical and instantaneous that its irrationality is immediately involved. In this case the process is not considered as algorithmic: “the abductive suggestion comes to us like a flash. 181]. 530]. Notwithstanding its non-algorithmic character it is well known that for Peirce abduction is an inferential process (for an explanation of the exact meaning of the word “inference” cf.

Therefore, “creative” abduction deals with the whole field of the growth of scientific knowledge. This is irrelevant in medical diagnosis where instead the task is to “select” from an encyclopedia of pre-stored diagnostic entities. We can call both inferences ampliative, selective and creative, because in both cases the reasoning involved amplifies, or goes beyond, the information incorporated in the premises [Magnani, 1992]. All we can expect of our “selective” abduction, is that it tends to produce hypotheses for further examination that have some chance of turning out to be the best explanation.

To describe how the three inferences operate, it is useful to start with a very simple example dealing with diagnostic reasoning and illustrated (as Peirce initially did),25 in syllogistic terms: 1. If a patient is affected by a pneumonia, his/her level of white blood cells is increased. 2. John is affected by a pneumonia. 3. John’s level of white blood cells is increased. (This syllogism is known as Barbara). By deduction we can infer (3) from (1) and (2). Two other syllogisms can be obtained from Barbara if we exchange the conclusion (or Result, in Peircean terms) with either the major premise (the Rule) or the minor premise (the Case): by induction we can go from a finite set of facts, like (2) and (3), to a universally quantified generalization – also called categorical inductive generalization, like the piece of hematologic knowledge represented by (1) (in this case we meet induction as the ability to generate simple laws, contrasted with induction as a way to confirm or discard hypotheses, cf.

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