Foundations of Science 9 (3):267-283 (2004)

Abstract
There are various ``classical'' arguments against abduction as a logic of discovery,especially that (1) abduction is too weak a mode of inference to be of any use, and (2) in basic formulation of abduction the hypothesisis already presupposed to be known, so it is not the way hypotheses are discovered in the first place. In this paper I argue, by bringing forth the idea of strategies,that these counter-arguments are weaker than may appear. The concept of strategies suggests, inter alia, that many inferential moves are taken into account at the same time. This is especially important in abductive reasoning, which is basically a very weak mode of inference. The importance of strategic thinking can already be seen in Charles S.Peirce's early treatments of the topic, and N.R.Hanson's later writings on abduction although they did not use the concept of``strategies.'' On the whole, I am arguing that the focus should be more on methodological processes, and not only on validity considerations, which have dominated the discussion about abduction.
Keywords abduction  Charles Sanders Peirce
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DOI 10.1023/B:FODA.0000042843.48932.25
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References found in this work BETA

Patterns of Discovery.Norwood R. Hanson, A. D. Ritchie & Henryk Mehlberg - 1960 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (40):346-349.
What Is Abduction? The Fundamental Problem of Contemporary Epistemology.Jaakko Hintikka - 1998 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 34 (3):503 -.
Defending Abduction.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):451.

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Citations of this work BETA

Truth-Seeking by Abduction.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Hansonian and Harmanian Abduction as Models of Discovery.Sami Paavola - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (1):93 – 108.

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