Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lars P. Syll — Abduction – the induction that constitutes the essence​ of scientific reasoning

Abduction in this sense is reasoning to the best explanation based on relevant information available. (The use of "abduction" by C. S. Peirce, the originator of the term, is somewhat different. See abductive reasoning)

Math is an instrument of deduction. Deductive reasoning proceeds logically from a stipulated starting point, e.g., axioms, postulates, using deductive logic or mathematics.

Abduction involves constructing conceptual or mathematical models based on what is given. To simplify, abduction begins as a "word problem" involving observation and conceptual understanding. From this a model as a candidate for providing best explanation is developed and then tested against that which is being modeled.

Abduction stand in contrast to the intuitive approach to stipulating axioms as the basis for a deductive system. Conventional economics based on assuming equilibrium and maximization is intuitively based rather than abductive.

Induction is reasoning based on observation of particulars and assuming that the past resembles the future, eg., path dependence, hysteresis ergodicity. Abduction may employ induction, usually thought of in terms of probability and statistics.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Abduction — the induction that constitutes the essence​ of scientific reasoning
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University


Matt Franko said...

“If it is deductive certainty you are after, rather than the ampliative and defeasible reasoning in inference to the best explanation — well, then get into math or logic, not science.”


Matt Franko said...

Tom this is Bill from the other days post:

“Vocational training, inasmuch as it was delivered outside the paid-work environment, was developed within technical colleges.
There was a clear distinction between education and training.”

Have any idea what he is getting to here?

Sounds like he doesn’t believe in scientific education?

Tom Hickey said...

He is speaking about training in terms of how to rather than information. This is the difference between technical school and general eduction, where the emphasis is on acquiring knowledge rather than skill.

For example, in med school there is minimal training and maximal information. The training comes in low paid work-intensive internship and residency. Similarly in law. On learns the law in law school and then spends five years basically interning.

I haven't heard my engineer friends talking about a lot of training in school. Mostly knowledge oriented and one receives specific training when on enters a niche and learns the ropes. Moreover, I have heard from my tech friends that engineers don't deign to associate with them on the floor.

Some time ago one of my cousins worked for Pratt & Whitney assembling jet engines. A new engine was being assembled for testing and a part did not fit as it should have according to the specs. They reported this to engineering from the floor and the report came back that of course it fit. They could tell from the design. The engineers would not come to the floor to inspect the work. So the project was held up until someone higher up the chain forced the engineerings to find out why the part didn't fit. You can't just hammer things into a jet engine.

Matt Franko said...

They can become anti-social because they spend almost all their waking hours immersed in abstraction...

They develop ability to abstract at the expense of social development....