Among the many problems posed by Peirce's concept of abduction is how to determine the scope of this form of inference, and how to distinguish different types of abduction. This problem can be illustrated by taking a look at one of his best known definitions of the term:Abduction is the process of forming an explanatory hypothesis. It is the only logical operation which introduces any new idea; for induction does nothing but determine a value, and deduction merely evolves the necessary (...) consequences of a pure hypothesis.The second half of this quote is not part of the definition, but an explanation of it. However, it adds something to this definition because it says implicitly that there are only three logical .. (shrink)
Why do we formulate arguments? Usually, things such as persuading opponents, finding consensus, and justifying knowledge are listed as functions of arguments. But arguments can also be used to stimulate reflection on one’s own reasoning. Since this cognitive function of arguments should be important to improve the quality of people’s arguments and reasoning, for learning processes, for coping with “wicked problems,” and for the resolution of conflicts, it deserves to be studied in its own right. This contribution develops first steps (...) towards a theory of reflective argumentation. It provides a definition of reflective argumentation, justifies its importance, delineates it from other cognitive functions of argumentation in a new classification of argument functions, and it discusses how reflection on one’s own reasoning can be stimulated by arguments. (shrink)
As a committee of the National Academy of Engineering recognized, ethics education should foster the ability of students to analyze complex decision situations and ill-structured problems. Building on the NAE’s insights, we report about an innovative teaching approach that has two main features: first, it places the emphasis on deliberation and on self-directed, problem-based learning in small groups of students; and second, it focuses on understanding ill-structured problems. The first innovation is motivated by an abundance of scholarly research that supports (...) the value of deliberative learning practices. The second results from a critique of the traditional case-study approach in engineering ethics. A key problem with standard cases is that they are usually described in such a fashion that renders the ethical problem as being too obvious and simplistic. The practitioner, by contrast, may face problems that are ill-structured. In the collaborative learning environment described here, groups of students use interactive and web-based argument visualization software called “AGORA-net: Participate – Deliberate!”. The function of the software is to structure communication and problem solving in small groups. Students are confronted with the task of identifying possible stakeholder positions and reconstructing their legitimacy by constructing justifications for these positions in the form of graphically represented argument maps. The argument maps are then presented in class so that these stakeholder positions and their respective justifications become visible and can be brought into a reasoned dialogue. Argument mapping provides an opportunity for students to collaborate in teams and to develop critical thinking and argumentation skills. (shrink)
Abductive reasoning takes place in forming``hypotheses'''' in order to explain ``facts.'''' Thus, theconcept of abduction promises an understanding ofcreativity in science and learning. It raises,however, also a lot of problems. Some of them will bediscussed in this paper. After analyzing thedifference between induction and abduction (1), Ishall discuss Peirce''s claim that there is a ``logic''''of abduction (2). The thesis is that this claim can beunderstood, if we make a clear distinction between inferential elements and perceptive elements of abductive reasoning. For (...) Peirce, the creative act offorming explanatory hypotheses and the emergence of``new ideas'''' belongs exclusively to the perceptive side of abduction. Thus, it is necessary to study the roleof perception in abductive reasoning (3). A furtherproblem is the question whether there is arelationship between abduction and Peirce''s concept of``theorematic reasoning'''' in mathematics (4). Both forms of reasoning could be connected, because both arebased on perception. The last problem concerns therole of instincts in explaining the success ofabductive reasoning in science, and the question whether the concept of instinct might be replaced bymethods of inquiry (5). (shrink)
Signs do not only “represent” something for somebody, as Peirce’s definition goes, but also “mediate” relations between us and our world, including ourselves, as has been elaborated by Vygotsky. We call the first the representational function of a sign and the second the epistemological function since in using signs we make distinctions, specify objects and relations, structure our observations, and organize societal and cognitive activity. The goal of this paper is, on the one hand, to develop a model in which (...) both these functions appear as complementary and, on the other, to show that this complementarity is essential for the dynamics of scientific activity, causing a dialectical process of generating new epistemological and representational means. This will be demonstrated with an example of how two scientists with different background knowledge analyze educational data collaboratively. (shrink)
Discussions concerning belief revision, theorydevelopment, and ``creativity'' in philosophy andAI, reveal a growing interest in Peirce'sconcept of abduction. Peirce introducedabduction in an attempt to providetheoretical dignity and clarification to thedifficult problem of knowledge generation. Hewrote that ``An Abduction is Originary inrespect to being the only kind of argumentwhich starts a new idea'' (Peirce, CP 2.26).These discussions, however, led to considerabledebates about the precise way in which Peirce'sabduction can be used to explain knowledgegeneration (cf. Magnani, 1999; Hoffmann, 1999).The crucial question is (...) that of understandinghow we can get the new elements capableof enlarging our theories. Under thesecircumstances, it might be helpful to step outof the entanglement and reconsider the basis ofthe problem that originally triggered Peirce'sinterest in abduction. This will lead us toanother Peircean concept, that of ``diagrammaticreasoning,'' which I discuss here in the contextof his ``pragmatism.'' In this way, I hope toreach a better understanding of thecontribution of ``abduction'' to the knowledgegeneration process. (shrink)
A large body of research in cognitive science differentiates human reasoning into two types: fast, intuitive, and emotional “System 1” thinking, and slower, more reflective “System 2” reasoning. According to this research, human reasoning is by default fast and intuitive, but that means that it is prone to error and biases that cloud our judgments and decision making. To improve the quality of reasoning, critical thinking education should develop strategies to slow it down and to become more reflective. The goal (...) of such education should be to enable and motivate students to identify weaknesses, gaps, biases, and limiting perspectives in their own reasoning and to correct them. This contribution discusses how this goal could be achieved with regard to reasoning that involves the construction of arguments; or more precisely: how computer-supported argument visualization tools could be designed that support reflection on the quality of arguments and their improvement. Three types of CSAV approaches are distinguished that focus on reflection and self-correcting reasoning. The first one is to trigger reflection by confronting the user with specific questions that direct attention to critical points. The second approach uses templates that, on the one hand, provide a particular structure to reason about an issue by means of arguments and, on the other, include prompts to enter specific items. And a third approach is realized in specifically designed user guidance that attempts to trigger reflection and self-correction. These types of approaches are currently realized only in very few CSAV tools. In order to inform the future development of what I call reflection tools, this article discusses the potential and limitations of these types and tools with regard to five explanations of the observation that students hardly ever engage in substantial revisions of what they wrote: a lack of strategies how to do it; cognitive overload; certain epistemic beliefs; myside bias; and over-confidence in the quality of one’s own reasoning. The question is: To what degree can each of the CSAV approaches and tools address these five potential obstacles to reflection and self-correction? (shrink)
In recent years, semiotics has become an innovative theoretical framework in mathematics education. The purpose of this article is to show that semiotics can be used to explain learning as a process of experimenting with and communicating about one's own representations of mathematical problems. As a paradigmatic example, we apply a Peircean semiotic framework to answer the question of how students learned the concept of "distribution" in a statistics course by "diagrammatic reasoning" and by developing "hypostatic abstractions," that is by (...) forming new mathematical objects which can be used as means for communication and further reasoning. Peirce's semiotic terminology is used as an alternative for notions such as modeling, symbolizing, and reification. We will show that it is a precise instrument of analysis with regard to the complexity of learning and of communication in mathematics classroom. (shrink)
This volume represents an important contribution to Peirce’s work in mathematics and formal logic. An internationally recognized group of scholars explores and extends understandings of Peirce’s most advanced work. The stimulating depth and originality of Peirce’s thought and the continuing relevance of his ideas are brought out by this major book.
The primary goal of this chapter is to present a new method—called Logical Argument Mapping —for the analysis of framing processes as they occur in any communication, but especially in conflicts. I start with a distinction between boundary setting, meaning construction, and sensemaking as three forms or aspects of framing, and argue that crucial for the resolution of frame-based controversies is our ability to deal with those “webs” of mutually supporting beliefs that determine sensemaking processes. Since any analysis of framing (...) in conflicts and communication is itself influenced by sensemaking—there is no “frame-neutrality”—the main problem for an analyst is to cope with his or her own cognitive limitations. LAM offers a solution to this problem. The method will be exemplified with an analysis of two conflicting interpretations of how the international community should deal with Hamas after its election victory in 2006. (shrink)
A crucial problem of conflict management is that whatever happens in negotiations will be interpreted and framed by stakeholders based on their different belief-value systems and world views. This problem will be discussed in the first part of this article as the main cognitive problem of conflict management. The second part develops a general semiotic solution of this problem, based on Charles Peirce's concept of "diagrammatic reasoning." The basic idea is that by representing one 's thought in diagrams, the conditions (...) that determine interpretations can become visible, we can "experiment" with them, and we can change them eventually. The third part, finally, focuses on a concrete tool, called Logical Argument Mapping , that can be used in conflict management to perform such diagrammatic reasoning and to cope with the cognitive problems discussed in the first part. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the sovereignty over Jerusalem will be used as an example to show how LAM could work in practice. (shrink)
Starting from the observation that small children can count more objects than numbers—a phenomenon that I am calling the “lifeworld dependency of cognition”—and an analysis of finger calculation, the paper shows how learning can be explained as the development of cognitive systems. Parts of those systems are not only an individual’s different forms of knowledge and cognitive abilities, but also other people, things, and signs. The paper argues that cognitive systems are first of all semiotic systems since they are dependent (...) on signs and representations as mediators. The two main questions discussed here are how the external world constrains and promotes the development of cognitive abilities, and how we can move from cognitive abilities that are necessarily connected with concrete situations to abstract knowledge. (shrink)
We all seem to have a sense of what good and bad arguments are, and there is a long history—focusing on fallacies—of trying to provide objective standards that would allow a clear separation of good and bad arguments. This contribution discusses the limits of attempts to determine the quality of arguments. It begins with defining bad arguments as those that deviate from an established standard of good arguments. Since there are different conceptualizations of “argument”—as controversy, as debate, and as justification—and (...) since arguments in each of these senses can be used for different purposes, a first problem is that we would need a large variety of standards for “good” arguments. After this, the contribution focuses in particular on proposals made in the literature on how to assess the quality of arguments in the sense of justification. It distinguishes three problems of assessment: How to determine whether reasons are acceptable, whether reasons are sufficient to justify the conclusion, and how to identify arguments in real-world speech acts and texts? It is argued that limitations of argument assessment result from unavoidable relativism: The assessment of many—if not most—arguments depends on the epistemic situation of the evaluator. (shrink)
Technology is not only an object of philosophical reflection but also something that can change this reflection. This paper discusses the potential of computer-supported argument visualization tools for coping with the complexity of philosophical arguments. I will show, in particular, how the interactive and web-based argument mapping software “AGORA-net” can change the practice of philosophical reflection, communication, and collaboration. AGORA-net allows the graphical representation of complex argumentations in logical form and the synchronous and asynchronous collaboration on those “argument maps” on (...) the internet. Web-based argument mapping can overcome limits of space, time, and access, and it can empower users from all over the world to clarify their reasoning and to participate in deliberation and debate. Collaborative and web-based argument mapping tools such as AGORA-net can change the practice of arguing in two dimensions. First, arguing on web-based argument maps in both collaborative and adversarial form can lead to a fundamental shift in the way arguments are produced and debated. It can provide an alternative to the traditional four-step process of writing, publishing, debating, and responding in new writing with its clear distinction between individual and social activities by a process in which these four steps happen virtually simultaneously, and individual and social activities become more closely intertwined. Second, by replacing the linear form of arguments through graphical representations of networks of inferential relations which can grow over time in an infinite space, these tools do not only allow a clear visualization of structures and relations, but also forms of collaboration in which, for example, participants work on different “construction zones” of larger argument maps, or debates are performed at specific points of disagreement on those maps. I introduce the term synergetic logosymphysis to describe a practice that combines these two dimensions of collaborative- and web-based argument mapping. (shrink)
This volume provides new sources of knowledge based on Michael Otte’s fundamental insight that understanding the problems of mathematics education – how to teach, how to learn, how to communicate, how to do, and how to represent ...
In the first part of this paper, I delineate Peirce's general concept of diagrammatic reasoning from other usages of the term that focus either on diagrammatic systems as developed in logic and AI or on reasoning with mental models. The main function of Peirce's form of diagrammatic reasoning is to facilitate individual or social thinking processes in situations that are too complex to be coped with exclusively by internal cognitive means. I provide a diagrammatic definition of diagrammatic reasoning that emphasizes (...) the construction of, and experimentation with, external representations based on the rules and conventions of a chosen representation system. The second part starts with a summary of empirical research regarding cognitive effects of working with diagrams and a critique of approaches that use “mental models” to explain those effects. The main focus of this section is, however, to elaborate the idea that diagrammatic reasoning should be conceptualized as a case of “distributed cognition.” Using the mathematics lesson described by Plato in his Meno, I analyze those cognitive conditions of diagrammatic reasoning that are relevant in this case. (shrink)
Based on a typology of five basic forms of abduction, I propose a new definition of abductive insight that empha sizes in particular the inferential structure of a belief system that is able to explain a phenomenon after a new, abductive ly created component has been added to this system or the entire system has been abductively restructured. My thesis is, first, that the argumentative structure of the pursued problem solution guides abductive creativity and, second, that diagrammatic reasoning—if conceptualized according (...) to the requirements defined by Charles Peirce—can support this guidance. This support is mainly possible based on the normative power of the system of representation that has to be used to construct diagrams and to perform experiments with them. (shrink)
There is evidence that problem-based learning (PBL) is an effective approach to teach team and problem-solving skills, but also to acquire content knowledge. However, there is hardly any literature about using PBL in philosophy classes. One problem is that PBL is resource intensive because a facilitator is needed for each group of students to support learning efforts and monitor group dynamics. In order to establish more PBL classes, the question is whether PBL can be provided without the need for facilitators. (...) We present a combination of five strategies—among them the collaborative argument visualization software AGORA-net—to replace facilitators. Additionally, we present evidence that these strategies are sufficient to provide a PBL experience that achieves intended learning goals in an ethics class and is satisfying for students without facilitators. (shrink)
One of the first things President Obama did after coming to office was the establishment of the Office of Public Engagement. As described on its Web site, this office "is the embodiment of the President's goal of making government inclusive, transparent, accountable and responsible." The Office of Public Engagement is supposed to "create and coordinate opportunities for direct dialogue between the Obama Administration and the American public, while bringing new voices to the table and ensuring that everyone can participate and (...) inform the work of the President."1As the president explained in his memorandum on transparency and open government, "Public engagement enhances the Government's effectiveness and improves .. (shrink)
Gegenüber der in den letzten Jahrzehnten wiederholt vorgetragenen Kritik an der lange vorherrschenden Auffassung, dass erstmalig bei Aristoteles der Gedanke einer „Axiomatisierung“ wissenschaftlichen Wissens formuliert sei, ist es ein erstes Ziel des Artikels, die traditionelle Auffassung teilweise zu rehabilitieren, sie dabei aber weiter zu präzisieren. Ausgangspunkt dazu ist eine erst seit Hilbert üblich gewordene Unterscheidung zweier ganz verschiedener Auffassungen von Axiomatisierung: einer „logisch-analytischen“ und einer „modelltheoretischen“. Vor dem Hintergrund dieser Unterscheidung wird erstens gezeigt, dass man Aristoteles als den Begründer der (...) „logisch-analytischen“ Auffassung ansehen kann. Zweitens wird dafür argumentiert, dass in der vermutlich pseudo-platonischen „Epinomis“ eine „modelltheoretische“ Sicht der Axiomatisierung angedeutet ist. Ausgehend davon wird schließlich gezeigt, wie diese modelltheoretische Auffassung von Axiomatisierung zur Grundlage für ein neues Verständnis der in der Politeia diskutierten „Idee des Guten“ gemacht werden kann. (shrink)
Some proponents of epistemological approaches to argumentation assume that it should be possible to develop non-relative criteria of argument evaluation. By contrast, this paper argues that any evaluation of an argument depends on the cognitive situation of the evaluator, on background knowledge that is available for this evaluator in a certain situation, and --in some cases--on the belief-value-system this person shares.
This argument map presents Paul Loewi’s crucial experiment in which he showed that neural transmissions of signals are chemical in nature, not electrical, in form of an argumentation. The map can be used in science education to show how the formulation of hypotheses should be related to a corresponding determination of experimental designs.
This argument map represents the argumentation of Sparrow, R. . "Just say No" to Drones. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, M 1932-4529/12, 56-63. doi: 10.1109/MTS.2012.2185275. The argument map is open for debate in AGORA-net, search for map ID 9712.
External representations play a crucial role in learning. At the same time, cognitive load theory suggests that the possibility of learning depends on limited resources of the working memory and on cognitive load imposed by instructional design and representation tools. Both these observations motivate a critical look at Computer-Supported Argument Visualization tools that are supposed to facilitate learning. This paper uses cognitive load theory to compare the cognitive efficacy of RationaleTM 2 and AGORA.
Interdisciplinary collaboration figures centrally in frontier research in many fields. Participants in inter-disciplinary projects face problems they would not encounter within their own disciplines. Among those are problems of mutual understanding, of finding a language to communicate both within projects and with the scientific community and society at large, and of needing to master concepts and methods of different disciplines. We think that a concentrated research and development effort is necessary to analyze, on the one hand, cognitive conditions of successful (...) understanding, communication, and interaction and, on the other, to develop specific tools and methods that support and facilitate inter-disciplinarity both in practice and in educational projects that prepare future generations of professionals within and outside of academia. Those tools need to be developed and their cognitive efficiency measured. (shrink)
Robert Fogelin formulated the thesis “that deep disagreements cannot be resolved through the use of argument, for they undercut the conditions essential to arguing.” The possibility of arguing presupposes “a shared background of beliefs and preferences,” and if such a background is not given, there is no way of “rational” dispute resolution. By contrast to this pessimistic view, I will propose a method that has been developed to overcome difficulties as described by Fogelin.
This argument map represents an argumentation from Heyns, C. . Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns . S.l.: United Nations. Human Rights Council. The argument map is open for debate in AGORA-net, search for map ID 9206.
Summary. This paper analyzes Frederik Stjernfelt’s recently published Diagrammatology in order to clarify the role of diagrammatic reasoning within an epistemology that focuses on the problem of learning and the growth of knowledge. To achieve this goal, I provide more precise definitions of Peirce’s concepts of “diagram” and “diagrammatic reasoning,” emphasizing in particular the necessity of consistent systems of representation as a precondition for both. The paper starts with a critique of two theses for which Stjernfelt argues based on some (...) remarks by Peirce: first, that it is possible to learn by observing icons and, second, that icons can be defined by similarity. (shrink)
Some “of the most influential and prominent scholars in the field of Peirce studies” were asked to answer five questions: 1) Why were you initially drawn to Peirce? 2) What do you consider your contribution to the field? 3) What is the proper role of Peirce’s work in relation to philosophy and other academic disciplines? 4) What do you consider the most important topics and/or contributions in the field of Peirce studies? 5) What are the most important open problems in (...) this field and what are the prospects/avenues for progress? (shrink)