Multimodal Abduction in Knowledge Development

Preworkshop Proceedings, IJCAI2009International Workshop on Abductive and Inductive Knowledge Development (Pasadena, CA, USA, July 12, 2009) (2009)
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From the perspective of distributed cognition I will stress how abduction is essentially multimodal, in that both data and hypotheses can have a full range of verbal and sensory representations, involving words, sights, images, smells, etc., but also kinesthetic – related to the ability to sense the position and location and orientation and movement of the body and its parts – and motor experiences and other feelings such as pain, and thus all sensory modalities. The presence of kinesthetic and motor aspects demonstrates that abductive reasoning can be manipulative. We can also see, in this regard, how implicit factors take part in the abductive procedure, which consequently acquires the character of a kind of “thinking through doing”. This paper further describes 1) the fact that hypotheses in science can be built through different cognitive mediators and so they can also model the same cognitive aspect in different ways; how they can be carriers/ producers of knowledge in a multimodal way; 2) the problem of the possible non-explanatory and instrumental nature of abductive reasoning and the analysis of the consequences for induction; 3) the role of manipulative abduction in building new evidence/ experiments and how they trigger smart inductive inferences.
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