Complementing Standard Abduction. Anticipative Approaches to Creativity and Explanation in the Methodology of Natural Sciences

In Lorenzo Magnani & Claudia Casadio (eds.), Model Based Reasoning in Science and Technology. Logical, Epistemological, and Cognitive Issues. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing (2006)
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Abstract

After showing by means of several examples the significant role that standard abduction plays both in observational and in theoretical natural sciences, I introduce in this paper preduction as a deductive discovery strategy. I argue that deductive reasoning can be extended to the context of discovery of theoretical natural sciences, such as mathematical physics, and I use the term theoretical preduction to denote the way of reasoning that consists in the implementation of deductive reasoning in scientific creativity. Moreover, standard abduction is not always sufficient to provide best explanations in science. It is widely known that during the 1960s, abduction was identified as a form of inference to the best explanation. But when the explanation of many natural phenomena requires more than spontaneous acts of creativity, such as those that one might imagine in the cases of Kepler, Darwin or Wegener, much mathematical work has to be done in addition in order to advance justified theoretical explanations. In those cases, the explanation takes place more preductivo. I term sophisticated abduction the corresponding form of inference to the best explanation.

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