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批判性思维基础:溯因论证 – 译学馆
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批判性思维基础:溯因论证

CRITICAL THINKING - Fundamentals: Abductive Arguments

开头曲
(intro music)
大家好 我是杰夫·佩恩
Hi! I’m Geoff Pynn, and I
我在伊利诺伊大学教哲学
teach philosophy in Northern Illinois University.
在这个视频里 我将谈论溯因论证法
In this video, I’m going to talk about abductive arguments.
溯因论证法依靠推理得出最合理的解释
Abductive arguments rest on an inference to the best explanation .
这个方法最简单的思考模式
The simplest way of thinking about this idea
就是问“为什么”
is in terms of “why”-questions.
假设你告诉你朋友某人喜欢他
Suppose you tell your friend that someone has a crush on him,
他的脸变红了
and his cheeks turn bright red.
为什么他会脸红呢?
Why did that happen?
怎样解释呢?
What’s the explanation?
最自然的回答似乎
Well, the most natural answer seems to be that it’s
就是他因为这种喜欢而窘迫
because he was embarrassed to find out about the crush.
这就是为什么他脸红了
That’s why his cheeks turned red.
这个例子就表现了一种溯因论证法
This example can be turned into an abductive argument.
前提是“在我告诉他露西喜欢他之后
The premise is “Charlie’s cheeks turned red
查理脸红了”
“after I told him that Lucy had a crush on him.”
结论就是“查理因为知道露西的喜欢而窘迫”
And the conclusion is “So, Charlie was embarrassed to learn about Lucy’s crush.”
请注意这个前提并不能保证这个结论的正确性
Notice that the promise doesn’t guarantee that the conclusion is true.
相反一些其他的事也可以解释它
Something else might explain it instead.
可能查理正在吃墨西哥胡椒
Maybe Charlie was eating a jalapeno,
他脸变红了是因为太辣了
and his cheeks turned red because it was so spicy.
又或者他只是被猫抓了
Or maybe he just got scratched by a cat,
而产生了过敏反应
and he’s having an allergic reaction.
如果扩大你的想象力
If you let your imagination rip,
你可能想到其他
you’ll be able to think of other possible
“为什么查理脸红”的理由
answers to the question “Why did Charlie’s cheeks turn red?” too.
但是考虑到背景说明
Nonetheless, given your background knowledge,
C似乎是对于P最好的解释 至少是一个有力的竞争者
C seems like it’s the best explanation for P, or at least it’s a contender.
如果它是的话 然后P再给了你很好的理由去相信C
If it is, then P gives you good reason to believe C.
这就是溯因论证法的过程
That’s how abductive arguments work.
我们知道一些事是真实的 这是前提
We know that some stuff is true (these are the premises),
从中获得的理由是“为什么这些都是真实的”
and reason from that to whatever is
这一问题的最好答案
the best answer to the question “Why are these things true?”
我们所知道的并不能保证解释的正确性
Our knowledge doesn’t guarantee that the explanation is correct,
但是没关系
but that’s OK, because abductive arguments
因为溯因论证法不能保证演绎的正确性
aren’t supposed to be deductively valid.
但是溯因论证法在生活中很常用
Abductive arguments are nonetheless extremely common in all walks of life.
使用 评估溯因论证法
It’s a very important critical thinking skill to be able to make,
是很重要的批判思维方法
spot, and evaluate abductive arguments.
想想电视里的侦探如何破案的
Think of how a TV detective solves a crime.
假设她发现凶手的武器在史密斯的行李箱里
Suppose she knows that the murder weapon was found in Smith’s trunk,
史密斯有不在场证明但是他有作案动机
Smith doesn’t have an alibi, Smith had a motive
史密斯没有通过侦探的测谎测试
and Smith failed the lie detector test.
这一切证据最好的解释
The best explanation for all this evidence
就是史密斯是凶手
is that Smith’s the murder.
所以侦探相信史密斯是凶手
And so the detective believes that Smith is the murder, and for good reason.
她将论证告诉公诉人
She passes this argument on to the prosecutor,
公诉人说服陪审团去相信这个结论
who uses it to convince the jury to believe its conclusion too.
溯因论证法在科学方面也十分重要
Abduction also plays a crucial role in science.
科学猜想往往依靠
Scientific hypotheses often rest on
一些观测数据推测出合理的解释
inferences to the best explanation for some observed data.
例如海王星的发现
For example, that’s how the planet Neptune was discovered.
在19世纪早期宇航员发现
In the early 1800s, astronomers noticed small discrepancies
天王星轨道
between the observed orbit of Uranus
和牛顿定律预测的
and the predictions that Newton’s theory
它应该有的轨道之间的微小差异
of motion made about what the orbit should be.
对于这些差异最好的解释
the best explanation for these discrepancies
就是由另一个他们还没发现的星球造成
was that they were caused by another planet that no one had ever observed.
事实证明这个推论是正确的
And it turned out that this was correct.
这就有了我们今天所知的海王星
There was another planet, which we know as Neptune today.
所以什么是好的解释
So what makes something a good explanation?
哲学家关于这一点有很多争论
Well, there’s a lot of debate about this amongst philosophers,
但是一个好的解释一定
but here are two characteristics of good explanations
有两个众人都同意的特点
that most generally agree about.
首先 一个解释越适合我们知道的所有的事
First, the more an explanation fits in with everything we already know,
它越是一个好的解释
the better it tends to be.
考虑另一个天王星和
Consider another possible explanation for the
牛顿定律有差异的解释
discrepancies between the observed orbit of Uranus
就是牛顿定律是错的
and the predictions of Newton’s theory: that Newton’s theory was wrong.
接受牛顿定律是错的就要求
To accept that Newton’s theory was wrong would require giving up on lots and lots
放弃许多其他好的解释
of other very good explanations,
所以这个解释不符合宇航员的已知
and so wouldn’t fit very well with what astronomers already knew.
一个没有被发现的星球造成了差异
The idea that an unobserved planet was causing the discrepancies
这个猜想更符合他们的认知
fit much better with what they already knew,
所以这是一个更好的解释
and so counted as a better explanation.
第二 在其他条件都相同的情况下
Second, other things being equal,
一个简单的解释比一个复杂的好
a simpler explanation is better than a complicated one.
查理脸红的另一个解释是
Here’s another possible explanation for Charlie’s blush:
可能他听错了你说的
Maybe he misheard you, and thought you said that
以为你说佩妮喜欢他
Penny had a crush on him, and so he’s
所以他因为佩妮而不是露西的喜欢而害羞
embarrassed to learn about Penny’s crush, not Lucy’s.
这个解释是有可能的
This explanation could be right,
但是它的复杂性是不必要的
but its needlessly complicated.
既然前一个解释更简单 它就比复杂的更好
Since the original explanation is simpler, it’s preferable to this more complex one.
适合性和简单性都很重要
Both fit and simplicity come in degrees,
其他的因素也与一个解释是否合理有关
and other factors are also relevant to how good an explanation is.
没办法说什么时候一个解释是最好的
There’s no sure-fire recipe for saying when an explanation is the best one.
挑战溯因论证法的一个方法
One way to challenge an abductive argument
就是想出一个相比于
is to try to come up with a better
溯因论证关于证据更好的解释
explanation of the data than what the argument provides.
另一个挑战溯因论证法的方法是
Another way to challenge an abductive argument
寻找更多的证据去增加前提
is to look for more evidence to add to the promises.
假设侦探也发现史密斯有个很聪明的敌人
Suppose the detective also found out that Smith had a very clever nemesis who had
这个人有谋杀动机
a motive to commit the murder
已经计划陷害史密斯很长时间了
and had been planning to frame Smith for a long time.
然后很显然 史密斯有罪不再是
Then Smith’s being guilty would no longer
侦探所有证据的最合理解释
clearly be the best explanation for all of the detective’s evidence.
这里又出现了一个 可能同样重要的解释
Now there’s another, perhaps equally good, contender,
也就是说史密斯被他的敌人陷害了
namely, that Smith was framed by his nemesis
当使用溯因论证法时
It’s important when relying on an abductive argument
确保在下结论之前你找到了你能找到
to make sure that you get all of the evidence that you can
的所有信息和考虑到了所有的证据是很重要的
and then consider all of the evidence before drawing your conclusion.
这是因为这个结论对某些证据是很好的解释
That’s because the fact that a conclusion is a good explanation for some
并不意味着它对所有的证据都是很好的解释
evidence doesn’t mean that it’s a good explanation for all of your evidence.
所以总结
So, summing up.
溯因论证法是一种大范围的论证
Abductive arguments are a kind of ampliative argument:
它的前提不能保证它的结论
their premises don’t guarantee their conclusions.
溯因论证法包括推断最好的解释
Abductive arguments involve an inference to the best explanation:
结论是对前提最好的解释
their conclusions are supposed to be the best explanations for their premises.
溯因论证法在日常生活和科学研究方面扮演着重要的角色
Abductive arguments play a central role in everyday life and scientific inquiry.
一个好的解释适应于我们所有的背景知识
Good explanations tend to fit with our background knowledge
比其他的都简单
and to be simpler than the alternatives.
最终你挑战溯因论证只能
And finally, you can challenge an abductive argument by coming up
想出一个对前提更好的解释
with a better explanation for the premises, or by finding
或发现其他不能解释此结论的相关证据
additional relevant evidence that isn’t well-explained by the conclusion.
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