How did Abduction Get Confused with Inference to the Best Explanation?

Abstract

Peirce believed that inquiry involves three types of reasoning—abduction, deduction, and induction. While Peirce’s beliefs about reasoning, especially abduction, changed over time, in his mature work the following picture of reasoning emerges: abduction generates and chooses hypotheses to test; deduction determines the entailments of a hypothesis; induction ascertains whether the evidence accords with the hypothesis in question.1 Peirce both identified abduction and coined the word.2 His concept of abduction is one of the most original contributions he made to the study of reasoning. It is also one of the most poorly understood. Peirce’s concept of abduction has been distorted by contemporary..

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