AAAI Publications, Workshops at the Twenty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Diagrams as Scaffolds for Abductive Insights
Michael Hans Georg Hoffmann

Last modified: 2010-07-07


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.


abduction; insight; Aha! event; diagram; diagrammatic reasoning; Peirce

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