Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 623.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 07:06:10 +0100
From: Willard McCarty <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Mind and Society vol 3, nr 5
Here follows the table of contents for the journal Mind and Society vol 3,
nr 5. Enquiries about the journal should go to
Via San Quintino 18/c
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MIND & SOCIETY
5, 2002, Vol. 3
Daniel Kahneman: the Nobel Prize for Economics awarded for
by R. Rumiati and N. Bonini
Special Issue on "Scientific Discovery: Model-Based Reasoning"
Preface by L. Magnani and N.J.
Conjectures and Manipulations: External Representation in Scientific
The paper illustrates the most important features of theoretical
(sentential and model-based) and manipulative abductive reasoning in
science. "Epistemic mediators", as external things and representations
that play a basic cognitive role in reasoning processes, are introduced
The History of Models. Does It
This paper investigates how model based reasoning functions in
population biology. I argue that models play an important role in
scientific discourse about a balance of nature, but this role has to be
seen in a historical, philosophical, and social context.
Cheating Neuropsychologists: A Study of Cognitive Processes Involved
in Scientific Anomalies
This research is related to cognitive processes in scientific anomalies
resolution. 40 experts were asked to explain 2 anomalous
neuropsychological cases. The produced "reasoning blocks" were analyzed,
to extract the inferential (deductive, inductive and abductive) and
analogical processes used. From data seems to emerge a "cognitive
switching", an unconscious alternation of inferential processes into a
context of diffused ambiguity. The use of analogical and inferential
reasoning in scientific anomalies resolution is also discussed.
Susan G. Sterrett
Physical Models and Fundamental Laws: Using One Piece of the World
to Tell about
The method of physical similarity, which provides the basis for
inferences based upon the results of employing experimental scale
models, is a qualitatively different way in which fundamental laws can
be used in analogical reasoning that is truly informative.
Toward a History-Based Model for Scientific Invention: Problem-Solving
Practices in the Invention of the Transistor and the Development
of the Theory of
This paper examines problem-solving practices (including problem
decomposition, analogy, bridging principles, teamwork, empirical
tinkering) in scientific invention and discovery by studying two
outstanding cases in twentieth-century physics - the invention of the
transistor and the development of the theory of superconductivity.
Sang Wook Yi
The Nature of Model-Based Understanding in Condensed Matter Physics
The paper studies the nature of theoretical 'understanding' in condensed
matter physics, mediated by the successful employment of its models. I
propose a two-stage account of model-based understanding of condensed
matter physics: (1) understanding of a model and (2) matching a target
phenomenon with a wellmotivated interpretative model of the model.
Discovering Relativity Beliefs: Towards a Socio-Cognitive Model
for Einstein's Relativity Theory
A socio-cognitive model of Albert Einstein's discovery is proposed,
joining cognition and culture. Firstly, some orientative heuristics are
traced in Einstein's fundamental publications: inner perfection,
explain-orassume, explanatory correspondence, and covariance/invariance.
Then, well-known abstractive heuristics as analogical and imagistic
reasoning, thought experiment, limiting case analysis are shown
occurring, too. A sketch of a model for such discovery is then presented
following an idea of van Fraassen about discovery phases and the Humean
distinction between beliefs and ideas.
Francesco Amigoni, Viola Schiaffonati, Marco Somalvico
Multiagent System Based Scientific Discovery within Information
We present powerful and flexible information machines called agencies,
which has been developed according to the multiagent paradigm within
distributed artificial intelligence. We discuss, both from a theoretical
and from a practical point of view, the roles they can play within
scientific discovery. The incresing social character of scientific
enterprise is addressed by agencies that both assist scientists in their
activity and represent the products of their research.
Nancy J. Nersessian
Abstraction via Generic Modeling in Concept Formation in
A central issue of creativity is how genuinely novel representations can
be constructed from existing representations. It is argued that
abstractive reasoning processes are one means and that the construction
and application of 'generic' models is one significant kind of such
reasoning. The analysis examines the role played by model construction
and abstraction in James Clerk Maxwell's derivation of the
electromagnetic field equations.
Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
7848-2784 fax: -2980 || email@example.com
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