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Innoduction is a kind of logical inference that has been identified as pertinent to innovative design.

Innoduction can be distinguished by its form of modus ponens: $q; p \Rightarrow q, p$

This is noted in [Eek00] as essential for innovative design, and it “presupposes intuition.”

Notice there are two conclusions and only one premise. Intuition is alleged to be that which fills the gap between the premise and the conclusions.

Roozenburg [Roo02] explains that if $p \Rightarrow q$ were a premise (as is the case with abduction), then $p$ must already exist. Therefore abduction cannot produce new ideas; i.e., no innovation.

However, I think this argument is flawed for two reasons:

  1. It assumes there is such a thing as a “new” design idea. (I think there is not any such thing.)
  2. It assumes no lemma-like reasoning occurs during the premises of an abductive argument (i.e., that in the course of stating $q, p \Rightarrow q$ as premises of an abductive argument, no other reasoning occurs to identify $p$.

With respect to the 1st reason, it may be simply a search through known principles, ideas, and other designs - possibly/probably aided by analogical reasoning.

With respect to the 2nd reason, consider these steps:

  1. establish $q$ (p1 of an abductive argument);
  2. search for new idea $p$ (the lemma-like step);
  3. determine if $p \Rightarrow q$ (a test step);
  4. establish $p \Rightarrow q$ (p2 of an abductive argument);
  5. determine $p$ as the conclusion of the argument.

See Also


Eek00. a J. Eekels. 2000. On the fundamentals of engineering design science: The geography of engineering design science. Part 1. J. Eng. Design, 11(4):377-397, 2000.
Roo02. a Roozenburg, N.F.M. 2002. Defining synthesis: on the senses and the logic of design synthesis. In Engineering Design Synthesis: Understanding, Approaches and Tools. A. Chakrabarti, ed. Pages 3-16. Springer. (link)
design/innoduction.txt · Last modified: 2020.03.12 13:30 (external edit)