Philosophy of Science 66 (3):451 (1999)

Authors
Ilkka Niiniluoto
University of Helsinki
Abstract
Charles S. Peirce argued that, besides deduction and induction, there is a third mode of inference which he called " hypothesis " or " abduction." He characterized abduction as reasoning " from effect to cause," and as " the operation of adopting an explanatory hypothesis." Peirce ' s ideas about abduction, which are related also to historically earlier accounts of heuristic reasoning, have been seen as providing a logic of scientific discovery. Alternatively, abduction is interpreted as giving reasons for pursuing a hypothesis. Inference to the best explanation has also been regarded as an important mode of justification, both in everyday life, detective stories, and science. In particular, scientific realism has been defended by an abductive nomiracle argument, while the critics of realism have attempted to show that this appeal to abduction is question - begging, circular, or incoherent. This paper approaches these issues by distinguishing weaker and stronger forms of abduction, and by showing how these types of inferences can be given Peircean and Bayesian probabilistic reconstructions
Keywords Inference to the Best Explanation   Peirce   Realism   Philosophy of Science   Bayesianism
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DOI 10.1086/392744
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References found in this work BETA

Explanation and Scientific Understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.
The Inference to the Best Explanation.Gilbert H. Harman - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):88-95.
The Best Explanation: Criteria for Theory Choice.Paul R. Thagard - 1978 - Journal of Philosophy 75 (2):76-92.
Science and Values. The Aims of Science and Their Role in Scientific Debate.L. Laudan - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (2):263-275.

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Citations of this work BETA

Truth-Seeking by Abduction.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Patterns of Abduction.Gerhard Schurz - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):201-234.
Bayesianism and Inference to the Best Explanation.Leah Henderson - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):687-715.
Explanationist Aid for the Theory of Inductive Logic.Michael Huemer - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (2):345-375.

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Abduction and Scientific Realism.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 12:137-142.
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Problems with Peirce's Concept of Abduction.Michael Hoffmann - 1999 - Foundations of Science 4 (3):271-305.

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