Structural Rules for Abduction

Citation data:

THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 2171-679X, Vol: 22, Issue: 3, Page: 325-329

Publication Year:
2007
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10419
DOI:
10.1387/theoria.453
Author(s):
Niiniluoto, Ilkka
Publisher(s):
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
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article description
Atocha Aliseda’s Abductive Reasoning (2006) gives a structural characterization of the “forward” explana-tory reasoning from a theory to observational data. This paper asks whether there are any interesting struc-tural rules for the “backward” abductive reasoning from observations to explanatory theories. Ignoring sta-tistical cases, a partial explication of abduction is converse deductive explanation: h is abducible from e iff h deductively explains e. This relation of abducibility trivially satisfies Converse Entailment (if h entails e, then h is abducible from e ), but it does not generally satisfy Converse Consequence (if h is abducible from e and g entails h, then g is abducible from e ), since deductive explanation is not always transitive.