Simply the best: A case for abduction

In Computational Logic: Logic Programming and Beyond : Essays in Honour of Robert A. Kowalski, Part Ii. Springer Berlin. pp. 83-93 (2002)
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This paper formulates what I think is the basic problem of any attempt to characterise the abstract structure of scientific method, viz., that it has to satisfy two conflicting desiderata: it should be ampliative (contentincreasing) and it should confer epistemic warrant on its outcomes. Then, after two extreme solutions to the problem of the method, viz., Enumerative Induction and the Method of Hypothesis, are examined, the paper argues that abduction, suitably understood as Inference to the Best Explanation, offers the best description of scientific method and solves the foregoing problem in the best way: it strikes the best balance between ampliation and epistemic warrant.



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