Michalski's views on abduction/induction

Peter A. Flach (Peter.Flach@kub.nl)
Wed, 16 Oct 96 13:21:13 EDT

At 18:21 16-10-96, Ryszard S. Michalski wrote:
> Induction is a general form of inference, opposite of deduction.
> While deduction preserves truth, induction preserves falsity.
> Inductive generalization and abduction are two most known and
> important forms of induction; other forms are part-to-whole
> induction, concretion, inductive specialization, etc.

Ryszard Michalski's inferential theory, which could unfortunately not be presented at the ECAI workshop, is certainly interesting and thought-provoking -- Richard, could you provide a pointer to one of your papers?

I would like to respond to one of the above points, namely that induction is falsity-preserving. This has always struck me as something odd: why is falsity worth preserving? In my PhD thesis I have proposed an alternative view: explanatory induction is a form of induction that preserves (amplifies) explanatory power from premises to inductive hypothesis. Of course, if we identify explanatory power with deductive closure, then the two views coincide. However, the explanatory view has the merit that it is expressed in terms of something worth preserving.