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Formal Theory Building Using Automated Reasoning Tools
 In
, 1998
"... The merits of representing scientific theories in formal logic are wellknown. Expressing a scientific theory in formal logic explicates the theory as a whole, and the logic provides formal criteria for evaluating the theory, such as soundness and consistency. On the one hand, these criteria corresp ..."
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Cited by 6 (6 self)
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The merits of representing scientific theories in formal logic are wellknown. Expressing a scientific theory in formal logic explicates the theory as a whole, and the logic provides formal criteria for evaluating the theory, such as soundness and consistency. On the one hand, these criteria correspond to natural questions to be asked about the theory: is the theory contradictionfree? (is the theory logically consistent?) is the theoretical argumentation valid? (can a theorem be soundly derived from the premises?) and other such questions. On the other hand, testing for these criteria amounts to making many specific proof attempts or model searches: respectively, does the theory have a model? can we find a proof of a particular theorem? As a result, testing for these criteria quickly defies manual processing. Fortunately, automated reasoning provides some valuable tools for this endeavor. This paper discusses the use of firstorder logic and existing automated rea...
On criteria for formal theory building: Applying logic and automated reasoning tools to the social sciences
 In Proc. AAAI’99
, 1999
"... This paper provides practical operationalizations of criteria for evaluating scientific theories, such as the consistency and falsifiability of theories and the soundness of inferences, that take into account definitions. The precise formulation of these criteria is tailored to the use of automated ..."
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Cited by 4 (3 self)
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This paper provides practical operationalizations of criteria for evaluating scientific theories, such as the consistency and falsifiability of theories and the soundness of inferences, that take into account definitions. The precise formulation of these criteria is tailored to the use of automated theorem provers and automated model generators—generic tools from the field of automated reasoning. The use of these criteria is illustrated by applying them to a first order logic representation of a classic organization theory, Thompson’s Organizations in Action.
The logic of organizational markets: Thinking through resource partitioning theory
 Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory
, 2001
"... Resource partitioning theory claims that “Increasing concentration enhances the life chances of specialist organizations. ” We systematically think through this theory, specify implicit background assumptions, sharpen concepts, and rigorously check the theory’s logic. As a result, we increase the ..."
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Cited by 1 (1 self)
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Resource partitioning theory claims that “Increasing concentration enhances the life chances of specialist organizations. ” We systematically think through this theory, specify implicit background assumptions, sharpen concepts, and rigorously check the theory’s logic. As a result, we increase the theory’s explanatory power, and claim— contrary to received opinion—that under certain general conditions, “resource partitioning ” and the proliferation of specialists can take place independently of organizational mass and relative size effects, size localized competition, diversifying consumer tastes, increasing number of dimensions of the resource space, and changing niche widths. Our analysis makes furthermore clear that specialist and generalist strategies are asymmetric, and shows that not concentration enhances the life chances of specialists but economies of scale instead. Under the conditions explicated, we argue that if scale economies come to dominate, the number of organizations in the population increases, regardless of the incumbents ’ sizes. Key words: theory reconstruction; resource partitioning; competition; market concentration; economies of scale; niche; specialization; organizational ecology; logical formalization; applied logic. ∗We are grateful to Jaap Kamps, Michael Masuch, Patricia Thornton, and Jelka Hopster for their helpful comments on an earlier version, and to Glenn Carroll, Gábor Péli, Arjen van Witteloostuijn and Christophe Boone for discussions about resource partitioning. 1 1
Formal Theory Building Using Automated Reasoning Tools
"... The merits of representing scientific theories in formal logic are wellknown. Expressing a scientific theory in formal logic explicates the theory as a whole, and the logic provides formal criteria for evaluating the theory, such as soundness and consistency. On the one hand, these criteria corresp ..."
Abstract
 Add to MetaCart
The merits of representing scientific theories in formal logic are wellknown. Expressing a scientific theory in formal logic explicates the theory as a whole, and the logic provides formal criteria for evaluating the theory, such as soundness and consistency. On the one hand, these criteria correspond to natural questions to be asked about the theory: is the theory contradictionfree? (is the theory logically consistent?) is the theoretical argumentation valid? (can a theorem be soundly derived from the premises?) and other such questions. On the other hand, testing for these criteria amounts to making many specific proof attempts or model searches: respectively, does the theory have a model? can we find a proof of a particular theorem? As a result, testing for these criteria quickly defies manual processing. Fortunately, automated reasoning provides some valuable tools for this endeavor. This paper discusses the use of firstorder logic and existing automated reasoning tools for formal theory building, and illustrates this with a case study of a social science theory, Hage’s axiomatic theory of organizations. 1
On “Modelbased ” Abduction
"... This paper reports on a concerted effort to axiomatize social science theories in first order logic. Most social science theories are stated in ordinary language (like essaystyle articles in social science journals). The natural language argumentation is usually sketchy and incomplete, relying on t ..."
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This paper reports on a concerted effort to axiomatize social science theories in first order logic. Most social science theories are stated in ordinary language (like essaystyle articles in social science journals). The natural language argumentation is usually sketchy and incomplete, relying on the reader’s commonsense or on familiarity with common background assumptions in the substantive field at hand. As a result of this, it is more than likely that some of the informal claims cannot be rigorously proved in an initial formal rendition of an ordinary language theory. This can be established formally by generating one or more counterexamples to a particular conjecture—that is, if we can find models of the premises in which the conjecture is false, we have proved that the conjecture is not a theorem. As it turns out, inspecting these models that are counterexamples to a particular conjecture can be instrumental in deciding how to revise the initial