How to get it. diagrammatic reasoning as a tool of knowledge development and its pragmatic dimension

Foundations of Science 9 (3):285-305 (2004)
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Discussions concerning belief revision, theorydevelopment, and ``creativity'' in philosophy andAI, reveal a growing interest in Peirce'sconcept of abduction. Peirce introducedabduction in an attempt to providetheoretical dignity and clarification to thedifficult problem of knowledge generation. Hewrote that ``An Abduction is Originary inrespect to being the only kind of argumentwhich starts a new idea'' (Peirce, CP 2.26).These discussions, however, led to considerabledebates about the precise way in which Peirce'sabduction can be used to explain knowledgegeneration (cf. Magnani, 1999; Hoffmann, 1999).The crucial question is that of understandinghow we can get the new elements capableof enlarging our theories. Under thesecircumstances, it might be helpful to step outof the entanglement and reconsider the basis ofthe problem that originally triggered Peirce'sinterest in abduction. This will lead us toanother Peircean concept, that of ``diagrammaticreasoning,'' which I discuss here in the contextof his ``pragmatism.'' In this way, I hope toreach a better understanding of thecontribution of ``abduction'' to the knowledgegeneration process.



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Michael H. G. Hoffmann
Georgia Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

“Theoric Transformations” and a New Classification of Abductive Inferences.Michael H. G. Hoffmann - 2010 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 46 (4):570-590.
Guessing and Abduction.Mark Tschaepe - 2014 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 50 (1):115.

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References found in this work

Representing and Intervening.Ian Hacking - 1984 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 35 (4):381-390.
Mind and World.John Mcdowell - 1994 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 58 (2):389-394.

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