Abduction as a logic and methodology of discovery: The importance of strategies [Book Review]

Foundations of Science 9 (3):267-283 (2004)
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Abstract

There are various ``classical'' arguments against abduction as a logic of discovery,especially that (1) abduction is too weak a mode of inference to be of any use, and (2) in basic formulation of abduction the hypothesisis already presupposed to be known, so it is not the way hypotheses are discovered in the first place. In this paper I argue, by bringing forth the idea of strategies,that these counter-arguments are weaker than may appear. The concept of strategies suggests, inter alia, that many inferential moves are taken into account at the same time. This is especially important in abductive reasoning, which is basically a very weak mode of inference. The importance of strategic thinking can already be seen in Charles S.Peirce's early treatments of the topic, and N.R.Hanson's later writings on abduction although they did not use the concept of``strategies.'' On the whole, I am arguing that the focus should be more on methodological processes, and not only on validity considerations, which have dominated the discussion about abduction.

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Citations of this work

Truth-Seeking by Abduction.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Hansonian and Harmanian abduction as models of discovery.Sami Paavola - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (1):93 – 108.

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References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Ian Hacking.
Patterns of Discovery.Norwood R. Hanson, A. D. Ritchie & Henryk Mehlberg - 1960 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (40):346-349.
Peirce's theory of abduction.K. T. Fann - 1970 - The Hague,: Martinus Nijhoff.
What Is Abduction? The Fundamental Problem of Contemporary Epistemology.Jaakko Hintikka - 1998 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 34 (3):503 -.

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