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Abduction – the Context of Discovery + Underdetermination = Inference to the Best Explanation

Mohammadian, Mousa (2019) Abduction – the Context of Discovery + Underdetermination = Inference to the Best Explanation. Synthese. ISSN 1573-0964

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Abstract

The relationship between Peircean abduction and the modern notion of Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is a matter of dispute. Some philosophers, such as Harman (1965) and Lipton (1991, p. 58, 2004, p. 56), claim that abduction and IBE are virtually the same. Others, however, hold that they are quite different (Hintikka 1998; Minnameier 2004) and there is no link between them (Campos 2009). In this paper, I argue that neither of these views is correct. I show that abduction and IBE have important similarities as well as differences. Moreover, by bringing a historical perspective to the study of the relationship between abduction and IBE—a perspective that is lacking in the literature—I show that their differences can be well understood in terms of two historic developments in the history of philosophy of science: first, Reichenbach’s distinction between the context of discovery and the context of justification—and the consequent jettisoning of the context of discovery from philosophy of science—and second, underdetermination of theory by data.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Mohammadian, Mousammohamma@nd.edu0000-0002-2422-4979
Keywords: Abduction, Charles Sanders Peirce, Inference to the Best Explanation, Peter Lipton, the Context of Discovery, Underdetermination
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Depositing User: Mousa Mohammadian
Date Deposited: 28 Dec 2020 05:20
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2020 05:20
Item ID: 18543
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-019-02337-z
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-019-02337-z
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Date: July 2019
ISSN: 1573-0964
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18543

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