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Truth-Seeking by Abduction

Serie: Synthese Library 400

This book examines the philosophical conception of abductive reasoning as developed by Charles S. Peirce, the founder of American pragmatism. It explores the historical and systematic connections of Peirce's original ideas and debates about their interpretations. Les mer
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Om boka

This book examines the philosophical conception of abductive reasoning as developed by Charles S. Peirce, the founder of American pragmatism. It explores the historical and systematic connections of Peirce's original ideas and debates about their interpretations. Abduction is understood in a broad sense which covers the discovery and pursuit of hypotheses and inference to the best explanation. The analysis presents fresh insights into this notion of reasoning, which derives from effects to causes or from surprising observations to explanatory theories.

The author outlines some logical and AI approaches to abduction as well as studies various kinds of inverse problems in astronomy, physics, medicine, biology, and human sciences to provide examples of retroductions and abductions. The discussion covers also everyday examples with the implication of this notion in detective stories, one of Peirce's own favorite themes.

The author uses Bayesian probabilities to argue that explanatory abduction is a method of confirmation. He uses his own account of truth approximation to reformulate abduction as inference which leads to the truthlikeness of its conclusion. This allows a powerful abductive defense of scientific realism. This up-to-date survey and defense of the Peircean view of abduction may very well help researchers, students, and philosophers better understand the logic of truth-seeking.

Fakta

Innholdsfortegnelse

Preface

Chapter 1. Peirce on Abduction

1.1. Classification of Inferences


1.2. Probabilistic Reasoning

1.3. Abduction Reconsidered

1.4. Interpretations of Abduction

1.5. Some Debates about Abduction




Chapter 2. Analysis and Synthesis

2.1. The Regressive Method

2.2. Pappus on Geometrical Analysis

2.3. Analysis and Abduction

2.4. Poe's Stories of Ratiocination

2.5. Poe's Philosophy of Composition




Chapter 3. Abduction and Logic

3.1. Abduction as a Rule of Inference

3.2. Structural Rules for Abduction

3.3. Abduction by Semantic Tableaux

3.4. The GW Model of Abduction

3.5. Hintikka's Interrogative Model of Inquiry




Chapter 4. Inverse Problems

4.1. On Retroduction

4.2. Inverse Problems in Systems Theory

4.3. Radon's Theorem and Computerized Tomography

4.4. Abduction and Biological Evolution

4.5. Evolutionism in the Humanities




Chapter 5. Abduction as Discovery and Pursuit

5.1. Patterns of Heuristic Reasoning

5.2. Abduction as Discovery

5.3. Abduction as Pursuit




Chapter 6. Abduction and Confirmation

6.1. Inductive and Abductive Confirmation

6.2. Bayesian Confirmation

6.3. Explanatory Power and Confirmation

6.4. The Virtues of Unification




Chapter 7. Inference to the Best Explanation

7.1. IBE as a Rule of Acceptance

7.2. Replies to Criticisms




Chapter 8. Abduction and Truthlikeness

8.1. Approximate Explanation

8.2. Verisimilitude and Legisimilitude

8.3. Abduction with Truthlikeness

8.4. From Empirical Success to Truthlikeness

8.5. Abductive Belief Revision




Chapter 9. Abduction and Scientific Realism

9.1. Debates on Scientific Realism

9.2. The No-Miracle Argument




Bibliography



Index

Om forfatteren

Ilkka Niiniluoto is Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Helsinki. After his Ph.D. on inductive logic in 1974, his main work has been on truthlikeness, scientific progress and critical scientific realism.