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

By Lorenzo Magnani

This quantity explores abductive cognition, a massive yet, at the least until eventually the 3rd region of the final century, missed subject in cognition. The publication goals at expanding wisdom approximately inventive and specialist inferences. The examine of those high-levelmethods of abductive reasoning is positioned 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 technological know-how. Philosophers of technology within the 20th century have usually individual among the inferential strategies energetic within the common sense of discovery and those lively within the good judgment of justification. so much have concluded that no good judgment of artistic approaches exists and, furthermore, rational version of discovery is most unlikely. in brief, clinical inventive inferences are irrational and there's no “reasoning” to hypotheses. nonetheless, a little analysis within the sector of synthetic intelligence has proven that tools for discovery may be discovered which are computationally sufficient for rediscovering – or learning for the 1st time – empirical or theoretical legislation and theorems.

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Without doubt the solution given by Boutilier and Becher furnishes a more satisfying qualitative account of the choice among competing explanations than G¨ardenfors’ in terms of “epistemic entrenchment”37 which tries to capture the idea of an ordering of beliefs according to our willingness to withdraw them when 36 37 Please distinguish here the technical use of the attribute model-based from the epistemologicalcognitive one I am introducing in this chapter. Which of course may change over time or with the state of belief.

It mainly refers to the selective (diagnostic) aspects of reasoning and to the idea that abduction is mainly an inference to the best explanation [Magnani, 2001b]: when used to express the creative events it is either empty or replicates the well-known Gestalt model of radical innovation. It is empty because the sentential view stops any attempt to analyze the creative processes: the 38 As previously indicated, it is important to distinguish between selective (abduction that merely selects from an encyclopedia of pre-stored hypotheses), and creative abduction (abduction that generates new hypotheses).

1, below). , 1993; Konolige, 1992; Josephson and Josephson, 1994; Levesque, 1989; O’Rorke, 1994; Poole, 1988; Reiter, 1987; Reiter and de Kleer, 1991; Shanahan, 1989]). 34 Deductive models of abduction may be characterized as follows. An explanation for β relative to background theory T will be any α that, together with T , entails β (normally with the additional condition that α ∪ T be consistent). Such theories are usually generalized in many directions: first of all by showing that explanations entail their conclusions only in a defeasible way (there are many potential explanations), thus joining the whole area of so-called nonmonotonic logic or of probabilistic treatments; second, trying to show how some of the explanations are relatively implausible, elaborating suitable technical tools (for example in terms of modal logic) able to capture the notion of preference among explanations (cf.

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