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

Foundations of Science 9 (3):267-283 (2004)
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.
Keywords abduction  Charles Sanders Peirce
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DOI 10.1023/B:FODA.0000042843.48932.25
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Sami Paavola (2006). Hansonian and Harmanian Abduction as Models of Discovery. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (1):93 – 108.
Anya Plutynski (2011). Four Problems of Abduction: A Brief History. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (2):227-248.

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