Abduction

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  • Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), the American philosopher and founder of the Pragmatic School of philosophy, maintained that the process of discovery in science is as important as that of proof and must, therefore, meet logical criteria. Peirce claimed that we must not leave scientific discovery to chance, because, in the end, it is the discovery process that creates and advances science and human knowledge. In scientific research, two logical inferences prevail: deductive research logic and inductive research logic. By formulating a third research logic (to be distinct from research methodology), which he called “abduction,” that aimed to cover “the logic of discovery” (Rescher, 1978; Rosenthal, 1993), Peirce enables us to conduct rigorous research stemming from a single fact in the field.

    According to Peirce, in a ...

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