Argumentum in Absentia

Ph. D. in Cognitive Science and Language
Postdoctoral Fellow of Philosophy of Science Dept. of Humanities - Philosophy Section Computational Philosophy Laboratory University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
ORCID: 0000-0002-8817-7286
Scopus ID: 57222557221


12/09/2023- It may be the first article that approaches silence as a sociocultural phenomenon from its cognitive dimension as a tool to apprehend the environment.

I am happy, really happy, that the results of my investigation on silence have finally been published (open access). It has been a challenging task, and I am very tired. Exhausted, to be exact, but happy and proud as one can only be when one has worked hard.

Silence as a Cognitive Tool to Comprehend the Environment | Foundations of Science (

01/09/2023– (Spanish) Acabado de salir del horno:

Daimon Revista Internacional de Filosofía
Núm. 90 (2023): Septiembre-Diciembre 2023: Monográfico sobre «Inteligencia Artificial»
Monográfico sobre Inteligencia Artificial.

Sección sobre «Inteligencia Artificial, datos y objetividad. ¿El regreso al naturalismo dataísta?» coordinada por Ariel Guersenzvaig (University School of Design and Engineering of Barcelona)
David Casacuberta (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).

Sección sobre «Ética aplicada para una Inteligencia artificial confiable» coordinada por Elsa González-Esteban y Domingo García-Marzá.

Ha sido un placer enorme contribuir (Università di Pavia) en la primera sección con mi colega y amigo Vicent Bueno (IIIA-CSIC), con un artículo sobre la transformación digital del museo tradicional:

Copio el abstract:

Este trabajo se centra en el museo virtual entendido como la transformación digital del museo tradicional. En primer lugar, se revisan las principales conceptualizaciones del museo virtual en la literatura especializada y, a partir de las mismas, se propone una definición básica. Asimismo, se presentan argumentos que muestran la insuficiencia de la perspectiva dataísta en el estudio de la injusticia epistémica relativa al museo virtual. Finalmente, se analiza la exclusión relativa a la participación y la interacción entre las visitantes de un museo (tanto virtual como físico) y la propia institución.

03/07/2023 – I am excited to share the publication in Catalan (also in Spanish): SANS PINILLOS, Alger. La distribució abductiva de valors en els catàlegs digitals. Mosaic [online], juny 2023, no. 199. ISSN: 1696-3296. DOI:

On June 8, I gave a talk at the MBR Conference 2023-Rome, entitled “The role of anticipations based on axiological information in the EC-Model of abduction.” It was a sweet encounter with colleagues I had not seen since the pandemic and an unparalleled opportunity to share ideas and discuss current issues in our discipline.

29/03/2023- Fresh from the oven! An article I’ve written together with Anna Estany has been published: Concerning the Epistemology of Design: The Role of the Eco-Cognitive Model of Abduction in Pragmatism 

17/12/2022- It is with pleasure that I share this essay written by Agustín Adúriz-Bravo and published today in the journal Revista Brasileira de História da Ciência (RBHC). It has the aromas of Buenos Aires, Domodossola, Barcelona, and Dublin, the places from where it was written. I am particularly pleased with its final version for various personal reasons, and I sincerely hope you find it interesting.

Lectura epistemológica de la historia de la ciencia en los “descubrimientos”: explicación y abducción en la enseñanza de las ciencias naturales | Revista Brasileira de História da Ciência (

23/11/2022- The introduction to the section Abduction in Education and Human Sciences of the Handbook of Abductive Cognition has been published today: Introduction to Abduction in Education and Human Sciences | SpringerLink


The chapter that Jordi Vallverdú (UAB) and I (UNIPV) have essayed for the Handbook of Abductive Cognition is now available (Living Edition): The Foundations of Creativity: Human Inquiry Explained Through the Neuro-Multimodality of Abduction.
This chapter offers arguments in favor of a morphological characterization of situated abductive processes in perception, considering them as adaptation mechanisms to the varieties of experience. The mechanism that has been analyzed in this essay is the creativity. The thesis defended in this chapter is that the human being maintains a constant hypothetical openness to adapt to the uncertainty of the future. Characterizing creative processes using abduction means analyzing this phenomenon from morphological bases. Therefore, the inevitability of creativity defended in this chapter is situated in the neurochemical and morphological bases of perception to characterize the adaptive dimension of creativity through abduction. The starting point of this proposal is based on the EC-Model of abduction: a contextualized interpretation of classical pragmatism from the naturalization of cognitive processes. Abduction is proposed as the simple mechanism of hypothesis generation and its selection. This mechanism can be considered present in all degrees of human experience: the generation of epistemic content is grounded in natural biologically based adaptive processes. Therefore, there is a coupling between embodied mechanism of cognition and sociocultural values. Because of its fundamental value, the implementation of abductive mechanisms in Machine Learning systems is explored, especially in most recent Deep Learning models.

17/08/2022- At last, the essay that Agustín Adúriz Bravo (Universidad de Buenos Aires) and I (Università di Pavia) have written has been published. It is the result of a researcher’s three years of work in which it is proposed that abduction as a “mode of inference” is a key element in the nature of scientists’ science and should consequently be introduced in school science.

Abduction as a Mode of Inference in Science Education | SpringerLink

23/07/2022- With great pleasure, I can share my chapter essay written for the Handbook of Abductive Cognition, entitled: “Abductive Irradiation of Cultural Values in Shared Spaces: The Case of Social Education Through Public Libraries.” A work of months that finally sees the light of the day. I am ecstatic!

Abductive Irradiation of Cultural Values in Shared Spaces: The Case of Social Education Through Public Libraries | SpringerLink


31/05/2022- Handbook of Abductive Cognition. First chapters already listed in Springer link:

Lorenzo Magnani (Editor-in-chief), University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
Handbook of Abductive Cognition
Part editors: Akinori Abe, Chiba University, Faculty of Letters, Inageku, Chiba, Japan, Atocha Aliseda, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Institute for Philosophical Research, Mexico City, Mexico, Mattia Andreoletti, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Faculty of Philosophy, Milano, Italy, Selene Arfini, University of Pavia, Department of Humanities – Philosophy Section, Pavia, Italy, Gianluca Caterina, Endicott College, Beverly, MA, USA, Gustavo Cevolani, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, Lucca, Italy, Daniele Chiffi, Politecnico di Milano, DAStU, Milano, Italy, Samuel Forsythe, Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Rocco Gangle, Endicott College, Beverly, MA, USA, Ehud Kroll, ORT Braude College, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Karmiel, Israel, Sami Paavola, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Helsinki, Finland, Woosuk Park, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences, Daejeon, S. Korea, Ferdinand Rivera, San Jose State University, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, San Jose, CA, USA, Alger Sans Pinillos, University of Pavia, Department of Humanities – Philosophy Section, Pavia, Italy, Fernando Tohmé, Universidad Nacional del Sur, INMABB-UNS-CONICET, Dpto. de Economía, Bahía Blanca, Argentina.

24/05/2022- The book “Embodied, Extended, Ignorant Minds. Synthese Library, vol 463. Springer, Cham” has been published. Lorenzo Magnani and I have essayed the chapter: “How Do We Think about the Unknown? The Self-Awareness of Ignorance as a Tool for Managing the Anguish of Not Knowing.”

The Thesis

Cover designed by Marc Padró

In “Argumentum in Absentia: The Role of Abduction in Philosophy of Science and its Prescriptive Value Dependency”, it is argued that abduction has a prescriptive aspect that has not yet been taken into account. The reasons lie in the fact that abduction has been investigated from the standpoint of the debates in philosophy of science, which not only determine the conceptual framework acting as a starting point of studies but also offer a closed conception of what is science, namely the one that goes into the debate in question. This interpretation of abduction is a pending task that, if it is not solved, then we would risk perpetuating a philosophical system that denies abduction itself. This situation is shown through the dichotomies that have shaped contemporary debates because abduction can only operate precisely when one accepts the relation between notions previously declared to be antagonistic.

The ideal starting point is the EC-Model from which the contemporary conception of abduction can be approached differently, which allows the incorporation of relevant cognitive elements to understand the multimodal aspect of this reasoning. On the other hand, the prescriptive element is based on James’ radical empiricism, which complements the EC-Model with a theoretical framework to raise a holistic (and not vicious) relationship between the values and the descriptions of the world. This conjunction offers an open and unfinished cosmovision, formed by the set of particular views of the world.

The Project

My current project is to demonstrate the hypothesis that abduction has a prescriptive aspect, which is essential for operating its full potential. I carry out this task in various ways, which are determined by the different official projects in which I collaborate.

From an epistemological perspective, I am investigating the role of abduction when facing uncertainty. In a figurative sense, I am interested in analyzing which is the last available link when you do not have tools to build the same path that you are walking. In these circumstances, it is more important to know how we want the world to be than to know how it is, and, here, the ethical gaze acquires an epistemological relevance.

I also work on this idea in more practical research. I am currently working on the prescriptive aspect of medical diagnosis. On the other hand, I also try to implement the prescriptive element of abduction in concrete design processes, in which different descriptions have to be adapted to individual wills which in turn, are regulated by the social impact of the final product obtained.

Theory and Praxis (Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore)

Upcoming Works

My workplace in the The Computational Philosophy Lab (CPL) at UniPV

– Sans Pinillos, A. (2024). The role of anticipations based on axiological information in the EC-Model of abduction. 

– Casacuberta, D., Sans Pinillos, A. (2023). An abductive protocol to detect epistemic injustice in cultural centers.

* All the publications in this section are accepted texts that will come out soon. For this reason, not all the data are available yet.

The Method

My methodology is mainly based on staying motivated by establishing harmony between fascination, intuition and knowledge. Unlike some colleagues’ understanding of what research is, to me, knowledge has never been the central axis, but the regulative limit of my intuition. Precisely for this reason, knowledge is also a crutch, which offers a point of support for intuition.

By intuition, I mean the vague idea I have of the order of things and, based on them, also of its possibilities. There are concrete issues that I can only keep connected from this overview. Obviously, in the end, it is the investigation of the moment that determines if this is more or less possible. Still, intuition allows me to separate without eliminating those aspects that seem not to fit, but that seem relevant to me.

Finally, the fascination is the engine of my research. With it, I focus on those problems that interest me the most, and it allows me to find its roots in countless places. At times, it can become an obsession, and that is why it is necessary to control it with the intuited ideas that, in turn, are contrasted with the knowledge obtained from the current state of the research.

However, without the fascination I feel for my specific work and for philosophy in general, I would have no interest, not only in knowing what surrounds me but neither understanding and looking for alternatives for a better future.

A lost pathway in Baceno (VB, Italy)