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

By Lorenzo Magnani

This quantity explores abductive cognition, an enormous yet, not less than until eventually the 3rd zone of the final century, overlooked subject in cognition. The ebook goals at expanding wisdom approximately artistic and specialist inferences. The research of those high-levelmethods of abductive reasoning is located 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 technological know-how. Philosophers of technological know-how within the 20th century have ordinarily amazing among the inferential tactics lively 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 procedures exists and, additionally, rational version of discovery is very unlikely. in brief, medical artistic inferences are irrational and there's no “reasoning” to hypotheses. nevertheless, a little analysis within the sector of synthetic intelligence has proven that tools for discovery may be came across which are computationally enough for rediscovering – or studying for the 1st time – empirical or theoretical legislation and theorems.

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In this way a hypothesis is considered more consilient than another if it explains more “important” (as opposed to “trivial”) data than the others do. In inferring the best explanation, the aim is not the sheer amount of data explained, but its relative significance. The assessment of relative importance presupposes that an inquirer has a rich background knowledge about the kinds of criteria that concern the data. The evaluation is strongly influenced by Ockham’s razor: simplicity too can be highly relevant when discriminating between competing explanatory hypotheses; for example, it deals with the problem of the level of conceptual complexity of hypotheses when their consiliences are equal.

9 The process of finding such generalizations has been called confirmatory (or descriptive) induction : A typical form of explanatory induction is concept learning, where we want to learn a definition of a given concept C in terms of other concepts. This means that our inductive hypotheses are required to explain (logically entail) why particular individuals are Cs, in terms of the properties they have. However, in the more general case of confirmatory induction we are not given a fixed concept to be learned.

The expansion of a set of beliefs K taken from some underlying language (considered to be the closure of some finite set of premise KB, or knowledge base, so K = Cn(KB)) by a piece of new information A is the belief set K + A = Cn(K ∪ A). The addition happens “regardless” of whether the larger set is consistent. The case of revision happens when K |= ¬A, that is when the new A is inconsistent with K and we want to maintain consistency: some beliefs in K must be withdrawn before A can be accommodated: K · A.

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