Model-Based Reasoning in Scientific Discovery

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L. Magnani, Nancy Nersessian, Paul Thagard
Springer Science & Business Media, Oct 31, 1999 - Computers - 343 pages
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The volume is based on the papers that were presented at the Interna tional Conference Model-Based Reasoning in Scientific Discovery (MBR'98), held at the Collegio Ghislieri, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, in December 1998. The papers explore how scientific thinking uses models and explanatory reasoning to produce creative changes in theories and concepts. The study of diagnostic, visual, spatial, analogical, and temporal rea soning has demonstrated that there are many ways of performing intelligent and creative reasoning that cannot be described with the help only of tradi tional notions of reasoning such as classical logic. Traditional accounts of scientific reasoning have restricted the notion of reasoning primarily to de ductive and inductive arguments. Understanding the contribution of model ing practices to discovery and conceptual change in science requires ex panding scientific reasoning to include complex forms of creative reasoning that are not always successful and can lead to incorrect solutions. The study of these heuristic ways of reasoning is situated at the crossroads of philoso phy, artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, and logic; that is, at the heart of cognitive science. There are several key ingredients common to the various forms of model based reasoning to be considered in this book. The models are intended as in terpretations of target physical systems, processes, phenomena, or situations. The models are retrieved or constructed on the basis of potentially satisfying salient constraints of the target domain.
  

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Contents

ModelBased Reasoning in Conceptual Change
5
Tracing the Development of Models in the Philosophy of Science
23
Using Models to Represent Reality
41
Models and Diagrams within the Cognitive Field
59
Theories Models and Representations
75
How Scientists Build Models In Vivo Science as a Window on the Scientific Mind
85
DISCOVERY PROCESSES AND MECHANISMS
101
A Simulation of ModelBased Reasoning about Disparate Phenomena
103
CREATIVE INFERENCES AND ABDUCTION
197
ModelBased Reasoning in Creative Processes
199
ModelBased Creative Abduction
219
Abduction and Geometrical Analysis Notes on Charles S Peirce and Edgar Allan Poe
239
The Hierarchy of Models in Simulation
255
Abducting Explanation
271
Fictionalism and the Logic of As If Conditionals
293
A Multilevel Feedback Process
311

Ulcers Dinosaur Extinction and the Programming Language Java
125
A Hierarchy of Models and Electron Microscopy
139
the General Case
165
A New Approach to Scientific Discovery
181
Author Index
327
Subject Index
333
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About the author (1999)

Nancy J. Nersessian is Regents' Professor of Cognitive Science at Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a pioneer in the area of cognitive studies of science and technology, a former chair of the Cognitive Science Society, a member of the governing board of the Philosophy of Science Association, and a founding member of the International Society for the Psychology of Science. She is also a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr Nersessian has received numerous grants and fellowships, including from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has held several residential fellowship positions, most recently at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is the author of numerous publications on the creative research practices of scientists and engineers, including the recent book Creating Scientific Concepts, and on science learning.

Paul Thagard is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. He is the author of "Mind: Introduction to Cognitive Science" and "Hot Thought: Mechanisms and Applications of Emotional Cognition", both published by the MIT Press, and other books.