Morphodynamical Abduction. Causation by Attractors Dynamics of Explanatory Hypotheses in Science

Magnani, Lorenzo; Piazza, Matteo
March 2005
Foundations of Science;Mar2005, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p107
Academic Journal
Philosophers of science today by and large reject the cataclysmic and irrational interpretation of the scientific enterprise claimed by Kuhn. Many computational models have been implemented to rationally study the conceptual change in science. In this recent tradition a key role is played by the concept of abduction as a mechanism by which new explanatory hypotheses are introduced. Nevertheless some problems in describing the most interesting abductive issues rise from the classical computational approach. It describes a cognitive process (and so abduction) by the manipulation of internal symbolic representations of external world. This view assumes a discrete set of representations fixed in discrete time jumps, and cannot adequately account for the issue of anticipation and causation of a new hypothesis. An integration of the traditional computational view with some ideas developed inside the so-called dynamical approach can suggest some important insights. The concept of attractor is very significant. It permits a description of the abductive generation of new hypotheses in terms of a catastrophic rearrangement of the parameters responsible for the behavior of the system.


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