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Ilkka Niiniluoto
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
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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.

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