Synthese 180 (3):419-442 (2011)
AbstractI argue against the tendency in the philosophy of science literature to link abduction to the inference to the best explanation (IBE), and in particular, to claim that Peireean abduction is a conceptual predecessor to IBE. This is not to discount either abduction or IBE. Rather the purpose of this paper is to clarify the relation between Peireean abduction and IBE in accounting for ampliative inference in science. This paper aims at a proper classification—not justification—of types of scientific reasoning. In particular, I claim that Peireean abduction is an in-depth account of the process of generating explanatory hypotheses, while IBE, at least in Peter Lipton's thorough treatment, is a more encompassing account of the processes both of generating and of evaluating scientific hypotheses. There is then a two-fold problem with the claim that abduction is IBE. On the one hand, it conflates abduction and induction, which are two distinct forms of logical inference, with two distinct aims, as shown by Charles S. Peirce; on the other hand it lacks a clear sense of the full scope of IBE as an account of scientific inference
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References found in this work
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce: Science and Philosophy and Reviews, Correspondence, and Bibliography.Charles Sanders Peirce - 1931 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Patterns of Discovery: An Inquiry Into the Conceptual Foundations of Science.Norwood Russell Hanson - 1958 - Cambridge University Press.