Biographical studies have shown that visual mental imagery plays a significant role in the conduct of scientific research, particularly in the generation of hypotheses. But the nature of visual mental imagery and its participation in abductive inference is not systematically understood. This paper discusses examples of visual abductive reasoning by archaeologists, analyzing them according to the visual information and the process of inference employed. This work supports the conclusion that visual abduction is useful to scientists under certain conditions and that (...) it is amenable to detailed study. (shrink)
Despite the growing appreciation of the relevance of affect to cognition, analogy researchers have paid remarkably little attention to emotion. This paper discusses three general classes of analogy that involve emotions. The most straightforward are analogies and metaphors about emotions, for example "Love is a rose and you better not pick it." Much more interesting are analogies that involve the transfer of emotions, for example in empathy in which people understand the emotions of others by imagining their own emotional reactions (...) in similar situations. Finally, there are analogies that generate emotions, for example analogical jokes that generate emotions such as surprise and amusement. (shrink)
Critics of animal modeling have advanced a variety of arguments against the validity of the practice. The point of one such form of argument is to establish that animal modeling is pointless and therefore immoral. In this article, critical arguments of this form are divided into three types, the pseudoscience argument, the disanalogy argument, and the predictive validity argument. I contend that none of these criticisms currently succeed, nor are they likely to. However, the connection between validity and morality is (...) important, suggesting that critical efforts would be instructive if they addressed it in a more nuanced way. (shrink)
The logical empiricists held that an analogical hypothesis does not gain any acceptability from the analogy on which it is founded. On this view, the acceptability of a hypothesis cannot be discounted by criticizing the foundational analogy. Yet scientists commonly appear to level exactly this sort of criticism. If scientists are able to discount the acceptability of analogical hypotheses in this way, then the logical empiricist view is mistaken. I analyze four forms of analogy counterargument, disanalogy, misanalogy, counteranalogy, and false (...) analogy, with examples from the debate over the asteroid impact hypothesis. These counterarguments do address the acceptability of analogical hypotheses, indicating that analogies can confer acceptability, confirmation notwithstanding. 1 Introduction 2 The asteroid impact hypothesis 3 Analogy counterarguments 3.1 Disanalogy 3.2 Misanalogy 3.3 Counteranalogy 3.4 False analogy 4 Acceptability 5 Conclusions. (shrink)
The so-called March of Progress depicts human evolution as a linear progression from mohkey to man. Shelley (1996) analyzed this image as a visual argument proceeding through "rhetorical" and "demonstrative" modes of visual logic. In this paper, I confirm and extend this view of visual logic by examining variations of the original March image. These variations show that each mode of visual logic can be altered or isolated in support of new conclusions. Furthermore, the March can be included in a (...) visual "frame" to produce new arguments, much as a verbal argument can be made a component of a new and larger argument. (shrink)
Analogies have always had an important place in the reconstruction of past cultures by archaeologists. However, archaeologists and philosophers have objected on various grounds to the importance granted to analogy. Heider proposed the use of multiple analogies--analogies incorporating several sources--as a way of overcoming these objections. However, the merits and even the meaning of this proposal have not been explored adequately. This article presents an examination of instances of multiple analogies in the archaeological literature in order to motivate an adequate (...) account of them in terms of the Multiconstraint theory of analogy, and in order to examine their role in archaeological inference. This article does not end the debate over analogies once and for all, but it does bring some needed clarity to this issue of central importance to the philosophy of archaeology. (shrink)
The presentation of analogical arguments in the critical thinking literature fails to reflect cognitive research on analogy. Part of the problem is that these treatments of analogy do not address counterarguments, an important aspect of the analysis of analogical argumentation. In this paper, I present a taxonomy of four counterarguments, false analogy, misanalogy, disanalogy, and counteranalogy, analyzed along two dimensions, orientation and effect. The counterarguments are treated in the framework of the multiconstraint theory of analogy (Holyoak and Thagard, 1995). This (...) framework is also extended to account for the evidence brought to light by the consideration of counterarguments. The result is a psychologically motivated treatment of analogical arguments that will be useful both for critical and pedagogical purposes. (shrink)
The concept of preadaptation, though useful, continues to trouble evolutionary scientists. Usually, it is treated as if it were really adaptation, prompting such diverse theorists as Gould and Vrba, and Dennett to suggest its removal from evolutionary theory altogether. In this paper, I argue that the as-if sense is ill-founded, and that the sense of preadaptation as a process may be defended as unequivocal and generally useful in evolutionary explanations, even in such problem areas as human evolution.
Consciousness is a central theme of Susanne Langer's three-volume work Mind: An essay on human feeling. Langer proposes an evolutionary history of consciousness in order to establish a biological vocabulary for discussing the subject. This vocabulary is based on the qualities of organic processes rather than generic material objects. Her historical scenario and new terminology suggest that Langer views the “cash value” of consciousness in terms of symbolic thinking and aesthetics. This paper provides an overview of Langer's proposed evolutionary scenario (...) of consciousness, along with an examination of her process-oriented philosophy of mind. It is suggested that Langer's basic ideas are importantly similar to those present in dynamical systems theory. As research on consciousness in dynamical systems theory is still young, researchers in this field may find in Langer's work ideas for future exploration, particularly in its connection with aesthetics. (shrink)
This paper addresses an important multi-disciplinary issue of current interest, that is, the implications of technological design for fairness. A visual, graphical methodology centered on the Taylor-Russell diagram is proposed to address this issue. The Taylor-Russell diagram helps to identify and explore ways in which predictions built into designs can pit the interests of different constituencies against one another. The configuration of the design represents a trade-off between the interests of the communities involved. Whether or not the trade-off is appropriate (...) constitutes a problem of fairness or distributive justice. The breadth of this methodology is supported by a diversity of examples analyzed. These include a surveillance system, an automotive safety system, a civic information system, and the international food distribution system. These examples provide models for application of the methodology to the analysis of designs in further areas of concern. Limitations of the methodology are also discussed. While it helps to identify and clarify issues of fairness in technology design, the methodology does not provide a general theory of fairness, nor can it provide fair solutions to such issues without appeal to further principles or concepts. (shrink)
Bio-inspired design refers to the use of the natural world as a source of models for the design of artifacts. For example, Velcro is a fastening system made from nylon that deliberately imitates the structure of burrs, which are adapted to stick to animal fur. In general, in selecting and adapting models to design problems, designers can also seek to satisfy their ideological goals. That is, designers seek not only to solve technical problems but also to respect and promote professional (...) and societal values that they find important. This observation applies to bio-inspired design. This paper examines two ideologies that are present in bio-inspired design. The first ideology examined is biomimicry, on which the natural world is characterized as the result of natural selection, a competition for survival that produces rugged and individualistic organisms. The second ideology is biosynergism, on which the natural world is characterized as interdependent systems integrated into a larger whole that operates in a sustainable manner. Both of these ideologies are explicated and their effects on design work examined. (shrink)
Lorenzo Magnani: Abductive Cognition: The Epistemological and Eco-Cognitive Dimensions of Hypothetical Reasoning Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-7 DOI 10.1007/s11023-011-9267-6 Authors Cameron Shelley, Centre for Society, Technology, and Values, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada Journal Minds and Machines Online ISSN 1572-8641 Print ISSN 0924-6495.
Sandel (2009) has recently revisited the issue of the moral permissibility of telling misleading truths in a Kantian ethical framework. His defense of its permissibility relies on assimilating it to simple truth telling, and discounting its relationship with simple lying. This article presents a refutation of Sandel’s case. It is argued that comparison of misleading truths with telling truths or lies is inconclusive. Instead, comparison with telling of leading truths is appropriate. With this comparison in view, it is clear that (...) telling misleading truths is not consistent with the Categorical Imperative, meaning that they are not morally permissible from a Kantian perspective. (shrink)
If you were Monica Lewinski's mother, how would you describe Linda Tripp? Remember that Linda Tripp is the woman who tapped her own phone conversations with Monica and then used them to incriminate President Clinton. Marcia Lewis, Monica's actual mother, chose the following expression: "She is like a meddlesome witch, a praying mantis." This expression conveys a multiple analogy, a comparison in which several sources are likened to a target. In this case, the first source tells us that Marcia thinks (...) of Linda as a disagreeable woman who entices youngsters into her confidence in order to ensnare them for her own purposes, much like the witch who trapped Hansel and Gretel. The second source tells us that Marcia thinks of Linda as a creature that ambushes others out of an inhuman lust for prey. ;This example shows the usefulness of multiple analogies in satisfying certain cognitive goals, such as constructing an adequate explanation of Linda Tripp and her behavior. Multiple analogies have also proven to be very useful in satisfying other kinds of cognitive goals, such as those of philosophers and scientists. However, no cognitive model of multiple analogies has yet been proposed or explored. This dissertation presents an exploration of multiple analogies as found in the literature of evolutionary biology, archaeology, and philosophy with the aim of proposing a cognitive model of this interesting mode of reasoning. This model is based upon the Multiconstraint theory of analogies, which is extended for the purpose, and also contrasted with previous theories of analogy. (shrink)
Many contemporary philosophers favor coherence theories of knowledge (Bender 1989, BonJour 1985, Davidson 1986, Harman 1986, Lehrer 1990). But the nature of coherence is usually left vague, with no method provided for determining whether a belief should be accepted or rejected on the basis of its coherence or incoherence with other beliefs. Haack's (1993) explication of coherence relies largely on an analogy between epistemic justification and crossword puzzles. We show in this paper how epistemic coherence can be understood in terms (...) of maximization of constraint satisfaction, in keeping with computational models that have had a substantial impact in cognitive science. A coherence problem can be defined in terms of a set of elements and sets of positive and negative constraints between pairs of those elements. Algorithms are available for computing coherence by determining how to accept and reject elements in a way that satisfies the most constraints. Knowledge involves at least five different kinds of coherence - explanatory, analogical, deductive, perceptual, and conceptual - each requiring different sorts of elements and constraints. (shrink)