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

Synthese (forthcoming)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
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 and Lipton claim that abduction and IBE are virtually the same. Others, however, hold that they are quite different (e.g., Hintikka and Minnameier) and there is no link between them (Campos). 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.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
MOHAT-2
Upload history
Archival date: 2019-08-14
View other versions
Added to PP index
2019-08-14

Total views
586 ( #6,788 of 51,712 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
111 ( #4,106 of 51,712 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.