A model theory of induction

Abstract Theories of induction in psychology and artificial intelligence assume that the process leads from observation and knowledge to the formulation of linguistic conjectures. This paper proposes instead that the process yields mental models of phenomena. It uses this hypothesis to distinguish between deduction, induction, and creative forms of thought. It shows how models could underlie inductions about specific matters. In the domain of linguistic conjectures, there are many possible inductive generalizations of a conjecture. In the domain of models, however, generalization calls for only a single operation: the addition of information to a model. If the information to be added is inconsistent with the model, then it eliminates the model as false: this operation suffices for all generalizations in a Boolean domain. Otherwise, the information that is added may have effects equivalent (a) to the replacement of an existential quantifier by a universal quantifier, or (b) to the promotion of an existential quantifier from inside to outside the scope of a universal quantifier. The latter operation is novel, and does not seem to have been used in any linguistic theory of induction. Finally, the paper describes a set of constraints on human induction, and outlines the evidence in favor of a model theory of induction
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/02698599408573474
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,831
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
P. N. Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne (1991). Deduction. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Nenad Miščević (1996). Should Reason Be Fragmented? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 10 (1):23-36.
Bruno G. Bara (1994). Developing Induction. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 8 (1):31 – 34.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

7 ( #291,451 of 1,724,771 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,121 of 1,724,771 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.