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Abduction Aiming at Empirical Progress or Even Truth Approximation: A Challenge for Computational Modelling

  • Theo A. F. Kuipers
Chapter
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 399)

Abstract

This chapter primarily deals with the conceptual prospects for generalizing the aim of abduction from the standard one of explaining surprising or anomalous observations to that of empirical progress or even truth approximation. It turns out that the main abduction task then becomes the instrumentalist task of theory revision aiming at an empirically more successful theory, relative to the available data, but not necessarily compatible with them. The rest, that is, genuine empirical progress as well as observational, referential and theoretical truth approximation, is a matter of evaluation and selection, and possibly new generation tasks for further improvement. The chapter concludes with a survey of possible points of departure, in AI and logic, for computational treatment of the instrumentalist task guided by the ‘comparative evaluation matrix’.

Keywords

Abduction Abduction task Instrumentalist task Empirical progress Truth approximation Truthlikeness Computational modelling Comparative evaluation matrix 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theo A. F. Kuipers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Theoretical PhilosophyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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