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Four Problems with Abduction: A Brief History

Plutynski, A (2011) Four Problems with Abduction: A Brief History. HOPOS: History of Philosophy of Science, 1 (2). pp. 227-248.

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Abstract

Debates concerning the character, scope, and warrant of abductive inference have been active since Peirce first proposed that there was a third form of inference, distinct from induction and deduction. Abductive reasoning has been dubbed weak, incoherent, and even nonexistent. Part, at least, of the problem of articulating a clear sense of abductive
inference is due to difficulty in interpreting Peirce. Part of the fault must lie with his critics, however. While this article will argue that Peirce indeed left a number of puzzles for interpreters, it will also contend that interpreters should be careful to distinguish discussion of the formal and strictly epistemic question of whether and how abduction
is a sound form of inference from discussions of the practical goals of abduction, as Peirce understood them. This article will trace a history of critics and defenders of Peirce’s notion of abduction and discuss how Peirce both fueled the confusion and in fact anticipated and responded to several recurring objections.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Plutynski, Aaplutyns@wustl.edu
Keywords: abductive inference, inference to the best explanation, Peirce, abduction
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: A Plutynski
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2018 00:46
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2018 00:46
Item ID: 15321
Journal or Publication Title: HOPOS: History of Philosophy of Science
Publisher: University of Chicago
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2011
Page Range: pp. 227-248
Volume: 1
Number: 2
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15321

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