David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 164 (2):201 - 234 (2008)
This article describes abductions as special patterns of inference to the best explanation whose structure determines a particularly promising abductive conjecture (conclusion) and thus serves as an abductive search strategy (Sect. 1). A classification of different patterns of abduction is provided which intends to be as complete as possible (Sect. 2). An important distinction is that between selective abductions, which choose an optimal candidate from given multitude of possible explanations (Sects. 3–4), and creative abductions, which introduce new theoretical models or concepts (Sects. 5–7). While selective abduction has dominated the literature, creative abductions are rarely discussed, although they are essential in science. The article introduces several kinds of creative abductions, such as theoretical model abduction, common cause abduction and statistical factor analysis, and illustrates them by various real case examples. It is suggested to demarcate scientifically fruitful abductions from purely speculative abductions by the criterion of causal unification (Sect. 7.1).
|Keywords||Abduction Inference to the best explanation Common-cause-unification Disposition Theoretical concepts Scientific discovery Analogy Factor analysis Realism|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
D. M. Armstrong (1983). What is a Law of Nature? Cambridge University Press.
David Malet Armstrong (1969). Dispositions Are Causes. Analysis 30 (1):23-26.
Eric Barnes (1995). Inference to the Loveliest Explanation. Synthese 103 (2):251 - 277.
Roderick M. Chisholm (1966). Theory of Knowledge. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
Donald Davidson (1984). Inquiries Into Truth And Interpretation. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Daniel G. Campos (2011). On the Distinction Between Peirce's Abduction and Lipton's Inference to the Best Explanation. Synthese 180 (3):419 - 442.
Gerhard Schurz (2011). Structural Correspondence, Indirect Reference, and Partial Truth: Phlogiston Theory and Newtonian Mechanics. Synthese 180 (2):103-120.
Adolfas Mackonis (2013). Inference to the Best Explanation, Coherence and Other Explanatory Virtues. Synthese 190 (6):975-995.
Andrés Páez (2009). Artificial Explanations: The Epistemological Interpretation of Explanation in Ai. Synthese 170 (1):131 - 146.
Gerhard Schurz (2009). When Empirical Success Implies Theoretical Reference: A Structural Correspondence Theorem. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):101-133.
Similar books and articles
Robert G. Burton (1999). A Neurocomputational Approach to Abduction. Minds and Machines 9 (2):257-265.
Joke Meheus & Dagmar Provijn (2007). Abduction Through Semantic Tableaux Versus Abduction Through Goal-Directed Proofs. Theoria 22 (3):295-304.
Sami Paavola (2006). Hansonian and Harmanian Abduction as Models of Discovery. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (1):93 – 108.
Michael Hoffmann (1999). Problems with Peirce's Concept of Abduction. Foundations of Science 4 (3):271-305.
Sami Paavola (2004). Abduction as a Logic and Methodology of Discovery: The Importance of Strategies. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 9 (3):267-283.
Atocha Aliseda (2007). Abductive Reasoning: Challenges Ahead. Theoria 22 (3):261-270.
P. Thagard & C. P. Shelley (1997). Abductive Reasoning: Logic, Visual Thinking, and Coherence. In [Book Chapter].
Gerhard Minnameier (2004). Peirce-Suit of Truth – Why Inference to the Best Explanation and Abduction Ought Not to Be Confused. Erkenntnis 60 (1):75-105.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads42 ( #38,478 of 1,096,899 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #53,842 of 1,096,899 )
How can I increase my downloads?