Foundations of Science

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 271–305 | Cite as

Problems with Peirce's Concept of Abduction

  • Michael Hoffmann
Discussion

Abstract

Abductive reasoning takes place in forming``hypotheses'' in order to explain ``facts.'' Thus, theconcept of abduction promises an understanding ofcreativity in science and learning. It raises,however, also a lot of problems. Some of them will bediscussed in this paper. After analyzing thedifference between induction and abduction (1), Ishall discuss Peirce's claim that there is a ``logic''of abduction (2). The thesis is that this claim can beunderstood, if we make a clear distinction betweeninferential elements and perceptive elements ofabductive reasoning. For Peirce, the creative act offorming explanatory hypotheses and the emergence of``new ideas'' belongs exclusively to the perceptive sideof abduction. Thus, it is necessary to study the roleof perception in abductive reasoning (3). A furtherproblem is the question whether there is arelationship between abduction and Peirce's concept of``theorematic reasoning'' in mathematics (4). Both formsof reasoning could be connected, because both arebased on perception. The last problem concerns therole of instincts in explaining the success ofabductive reasoning in science, and the questionwhether the concept of instinct might be replaced bymethods of inquiry (5).

abduction instincts Peirce perception theorematic reasoning 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. A. Aliseda: 1998, Abduction as Epistemic Change: Charles S. Peirce and Epistemic Theories in Artificial Intelligence. Online: http://www.rz.unifrankfurt. de/~wirth/tt (spanish version in Analogia Filosòfica 12 (1): 125–144).Google Scholar
  2. D.R. Anderson: 1986, Creativity and the Philosophy of Charles S. Peirce. University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Michigan.Google Scholar
  3. E.J. Crombie: 1997, What is Deduction? In N. Houser, D.D. Roberts and J. van Evra (eds.), Studies in the Logic of Charles Sanders Peirce. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, pp. 460-476.Google Scholar
  4. R.R. Dipert: 1995, Peirce's Underestimated Place in the History of Logic: A Response to Quine. In K.L. Ketner (ed.), Peirce and Contemporary Thought. Philosophical Inquiries. Fordham Univ. Press, New York, pp. 32-58.Google Scholar
  5. C. Eisele: 1982, Mathematical Methodology in the Thought of Charles S. Peirce. Historia Mathematica 9: 333-341.Google Scholar
  6. Y. Engeström: 1987, Learning by Expanding. An Activity-Theoretical Approach to Developmental Research. Orienta-Konsultit Oy, Helsinki.Google Scholar
  7. K.T. Fann: 1970, Peirce's Theory of Abduction. Nijhoff, The Hague.Google Scholar
  8. H. Frankfurt: 1958, Peirce's Notion of Abduction. The Journal of Philosophy 55: 593-597.Google Scholar
  9. N. Goodman: 1983 [1954], Fact, Fiction, and Forecast, 4th edn. Harvard University Press, Cambridge/MA, London.Google Scholar
  10. E.M. Hammer: 1996, Charles S. Peirce's Logic. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/peirce-logic/.Google Scholar
  11. J.F. Harris and K. Hoover: 1983 [1980], Abduction and the New Riddle of Induction. In E. Freeman (ed.), The Relevance of Charles Peirce. Hegeler Institut (first published in The Monist 63: 329–341), La Salle, IL, pp. 132-144.Google Scholar
  12. J.v. Heijenoort: 1967, Logic as Calculus and Logic as Language. Synthese 17: pp. 324-330.Google Scholar
  13. J. Hintikka: 1983 [1980], C.S. Peirce's ‘First Real Discovery’ and Its Contemporary Relevance. In E. Freeman (ed.), The Relevance of Charles Peirce. Hegeler Institut, La Salle, IL, pp. 107-118.Google Scholar
  14. J. Hintikka: 1997a, Lingua Universalis vs. Calculus Ratiocinator: An Ultimate Presupposition of Twentieth-Century Philosophy (selected papers 2). Kluwer, Dordrecht et al.Google Scholar
  15. J. Hintikka: 1997b, On Creativity in Reasoning. In Å.E. Andersson and N.-E. Sahlin (eds.), The Complexity of Creativity. Kluwer, Dordrecht et al., pp. 67-78.Google Scholar
  16. J. Hintikka: 1997c, The Place of C.S. Peirce in the History of Logical Theory. In J. Brunning and P. Forster (eds.), The Rule of Reason. The Philosophy of Charles S. Peirce. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Buffalo, London, pp. 13-33.Google Scholar
  17. N. Houser: 1997, Introduction: Peirce as Logician. In N. Houser, D.D. Roberts and J. van Evra (eds.), Studies in the Logic of Charles Sanders Peirce. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, pp. 1-22.Google Scholar
  18. N. Houser, D.D. Roberts and J. van Evra (eds.): 1997, Studies in the Logic of Charles Sanders Peirce. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis.Google Scholar
  19. T. Kapitan: 1990, In What Way is Abductive Inference Creative? Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 26: 499-512.Google Scholar
  20. T. Kapitan: 1992, Peirce and the Autonomy of Abductive Reasoning. Erkenntnis 37: 1-26.Google Scholar
  21. T. Kapitan: 1997, Peirce and the Structure of Abductive Inference. In N. Houser, D.D. Roberts and J. van Evra (eds.), Studies in the Logic of Charles Sanders Peirce. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, pp. 477-496.Google Scholar
  22. B.M. Kedrov: 1966–67 [1957], On the Question of the Psychology of Scientific Creativity (On the Occasion of the Discovery by D.I. Mendeleev of the Periodic Law). Soviet Psychology V/2: 18-37.Google Scholar
  23. U. Kelle: 1994, Empirisch begründete Theoriebildung: Zur Logik und Methodologie interpretativer Sozialforschung (status passages and the life course 6). Dt. Studien-Verl., Weinheim.Google Scholar
  24. K.L. Ketner: 1985, How Hintikka Misunderstood Peirce's Account of Theorematic Reasoning. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 21: 407-418.Google Scholar
  25. S.A. Kleiner: 1983, A New Look at Kepler and Abductive Argument. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 14: 279-314.Google Scholar
  26. Landesinstitut (ed.): 1994, Trends und Zusammenhänge. Materialien zur Explorativen Datenanalyse und Statistik in der Schule (Interaktive Medien im Unterricht). Landesinstitut für Schule und Weiterbildung, Paradieser Weg 64, D-59494 Soest.Google Scholar
  27. I. Levi: 1997, Inference and Logic According to Peirce. In J. Brunning and P. Forster (eds.), The Rule of Reason. The Philosophy of Charles S. Peirce. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Buffalo, London, pp. 34-56.Google Scholar
  28. S.H. Levy: 1997, Peirce's Theoremic/Corollarial Distinction and the Interconnections Between Mathematics and Logic. In N. Houser, D.D. Roberts and J. van Evra (eds.), Studies in the Logic of Charles Sanders Peirce. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, pp. 85-110.Google Scholar
  29. M. Otte: 1998a, Mathematik in der Philosophie I. Naturalisierte Erkenntnistheorie. Arbeiten aus dem Institut für Didaktik der Mathematik der Universität Bielefeld, Occasional Paper 170.Google Scholar
  30. M. Otte: 1998b, Proof and perception II. Preuve Proof Prueba. Web Newsletter Juillet/Août 1998: Online: http://www-cabri.imag.fr/Preuve/Newsletter/ 980708.html.Google Scholar
  31. Peirce: CCL, 1992, The Cambridge Conferences Lectures of 1898. In K.L. Ketner (ed.), Ch. S. Peirce, Reasoning and the Logic of Things. Harvard UP, Cambridge/London.Google Scholar
  32. Peirce: CP, Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce (Volumes I–VI, ed. by Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss, 1931–1935, Volumes VII–VIII, ed. by Arthur W. Burks, 1958, quotations according to volume and paragraph). Harvard UP, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  33. Peirce: EP, 1992 + 1998, The Essential Peirce. Selected Philosophical Writings, Vol. I (1867–1893), Vol. II (1893–1913) (ed. by Nathan Houser and Christian Kloesel, Peirce Edition Project). Indiana University Press, Bloomingtion and Indianapolis.Google Scholar
  34. Peirce: HLP, 1997, Pragmatism as a Principle and Method of Right Thinking, by Charles Sanders Peirce (The 1903 Harvard Lectures on Pragmatism. Edited and Introduced, with a Commentary by Patricia Ann Turrisi). State University of New York Press, Albany, NY.Google Scholar
  35. Peirce: L, Letter (numbered according to Richard S. Robin, Annotated Catalogue of the Papers of Charles S. Peirce. Worcester, MA, 1967: The University of Massachusetts Press). Available in the Peirce Microfilm edition. Pagination: CSP = Peirce/ISP = Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism.Google Scholar
  36. Peirce: LOS, 1986, Historical Perspectives on Peirce's Logic of Science: A History of Science, 2 vols. (ed. by Carolyn Eisele). Mouton, Berlin.Google Scholar
  37. Peirce: Microfilms, The Charles S. Peirce Papers. Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  38. Peirce: MS, The Charles S. Peirce Papers. Manuscript Collection in the Houghton Library, Harvard University (numbered according to Richard S. Robin, Annotated Catalogue of the Papers of Charles S. Peirce. Worcester, MA, 1967: The University of Massachusetts Press). Available in the Peirce Microfilm edition. Pagination: CSP = Peirce/ISP = Institute for Studies in Pragmaticism.Google Scholar
  39. Peirce: NEM, 1976, The New Elements of Mathematics by Charles S. Peirce, Vol. I–IV (ed. by Carolyn Eisele). Mouton/Humanities Press, The Hague-Paris/Atlantic Highlands, N.J.Google Scholar
  40. Peirce: P, 1986, Published Works (numbered according to: A Comprehensive Bibliography of the Published Works of Charles Sanders Peirce with a Bibliography of Secondary Studies, 2nd. edn. (ed. by Kenneth L. Ketner)). Philosophy Documentation Center, Bowling Green, Ohio.Google Scholar
  41. Peirce: S&S, 1977, Semiotic and Significs. The Correspondence between Charles S. Peirce and Victoria Lady Welby (ed. by Charles S. Hardwick). Indiana University Press, Bloomington and London.Google Scholar
  42. Peirce: 1986–1994, SEM, Charles S. Peirce, Semiotische Schriften, Vol. I–III (German ed. by Chr. Kloesel and H. Pape). Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a.M.Google Scholar
  43. Peirce: 1982ff., W, Writings of Charles S. Peirce. A Chronological Edition, Vol. 1-... Indiana University Press, Bloomington.Google Scholar
  44. C.S. Peirce: 1878, Deduction, Induction, and Hypothesis. P 123: Popular Science Monthly 13: 470-482; EP I: 186–199;W 3: 323–338; CP 2.619–644.Google Scholar
  45. C.S. Peirce: 1882, Introductory Lecture on the Study of Logic. P 225: Johns Hopkins University Circulars 2(19): 11-12; EP I: 210–214;W 4: 378–382; CP 7.59–76.Google Scholar
  46. C.S. Peirce: 1885, On the Algebra of Logic: A Contribution to the Philosophy of Notation. P 296: American Journal of Mathematics 7: 180-202; in part in EP I: 225–228; W 5: 162–190 (with related MSS 506–508 at: 538–539); CP 3.359–403.Google Scholar
  47. C.S. Peirce: 1887, Logical Machines. Modern Logic 7 (1997): 71-77; repr. from American Journal of Psychology 1: 165–170; NEM III: 625–632.Google Scholar
  48. C.S. Peirce: 1891, Review of William James's The Principles of Psychology (1890). The Nation 53 (2 July 1891) 15; The Nation 53 (9 July 1891): 32–33; CP 8.55–61, CP 8.62–71.Google Scholar
  49. C.S. Peirce: 1892, The Law of Mind. P: 477: The Monist 2: 533-559; EP I: 312–333; CP 6.102–163.Google Scholar
  50. C.S. Peirce: 1895, Short Logic: Of Reasoning in General. MS 595; EP II: 11-26; in part in CP 2.286–291 (CSP 6–13); 2.295–296 (CSP 14–16); 2.435–443 (CSP 23–29, with the omission of p. 25); 7.555–558 (CSP 29–32).Google Scholar
  51. C.S. Peirce: 1896, ca., The Logic of Mathematics; an Attempt to Develop my Categories from within. CP 1.417–520.Google Scholar
  52. C.S. Peirce: 1897, Multitude and Number. CP 4.170–226.Google Scholar
  53. C.S. Peirce: 1897, ca., That Categorical and Hypothetical Propositions Are One in Essence, with Some Connected Matters (Date according Pape in SEM; CP and Robin: 1895). MS 787; MS 787 (s) are the missing pages 6–7, and MS 812 the missing pages 8–9; SEM I: 230–268; in part in CP 2.332–339, 2.278–280, 1.564–567 (c.1899), 2.340–356. See MSS 804, 805, and pp. 23, 30–32, 38 in MS 595 for rejected pages of MS 787.Google Scholar
  54. C.S. Peirce: 1898, The Cambridge Conferences Lectures of 1898. CCL; lect. I = MS 437 = EP II: 27−41 = CP 1.616–648 (in part); lect. IV = MS 442 + 825 = EP II: 42−56 = CP 5.574–89, 7.135–40 and 1.135–40 (in part); lect. VIII = MS 948 = NEM III: 101−115 = CP 6.185–213 (in part).Google Scholar
  55. C.S. Peirce: 1898, ca., Habit. MS 951; CP 7.468–517.Google Scholar
  56. C.S. Peirce: 1899, ca.-a, How Did Science Originate? MS 1292; LOS: 1122–1124.Google Scholar
  57. C.S. Peirce: 1899, ca.-b, On Topical Geometry, in General. MS 141; CP 7.524–538 (in part).Google Scholar
  58. C.S. Peirce: 1901a, Letter to “My dear Prof. Langley” (20.5.1901[?]). L 409, ISP 72–81.Google Scholar
  59. C.S. Peirce: 1901b, On the Logic of Drawing History from Ancient Documents Especially from Testimonies. MS 690; LOS: 705–800; in part in EP II: 75–114 and in CP 7.162–255.Google Scholar
  60. C.S. Peirce: 1901c, The Proper Treatment of Hypotheses: A Preliminary Chapter, toward an Examination of Hume's Argument against Miracles, in its Logic and in its History. MS 692; LOS: 890–904.Google Scholar
  61. C.S. Peirce: 1901–2/1911, Reasoning. Baldwin's Dictionary II: 426-428, CP 2.773–778.Google Scholar
  62. C.S. Peirce: 1902a, The Carnegie Application. L 75; NEM IV: 13–73; LOS: 1022–1041; Arisbe homepage: http://www.door.net/arisbe/menu/library/bycsp/ L75/L75.htm.Google Scholar
  63. C.S. Peirce: 1902b, Minute Logic I: Intended Characters of this Treatise. MS 425; CP 2.1–118; in part in SEM I: 377–408.Google Scholar
  64. C.S. Peirce: 1902c, Minute Logic III: The Simplest Mathematics $$1: The Essence of Mathematics. MS 429; CP 4.227–244.Google Scholar
  65. C.S. Peirce: 1902–3, Minute Logic IV [a digression]. CP 6.349–352.Google Scholar
  66. C.S. Peirce: 1903a, Lectures on Pragmatism [held from March, 26. to May, 14. at Harvard University]. MSS 300–316; EP II: 133–241; HLP; CP 5.14–212; in part in SEM I: 431–462.Google Scholar
  67. C.S. Peirce: 1903b, Logical Tracts. No. 2. On Existential Graphs, Euler's Diagrams, and Logical Algebra. MS 492; SEM II: 98-126; CP 4.418–509 (in part).Google Scholar
  68. C.S. Peirce: 1903c, On Some Topics of Logic (Lowell Lectures: Syllabus). MS 478. Parts published in “A Syllabus of Certain Topics of Logic” by Alfred Mudge & Son (Boston); CP 1.180–202, 2.219–226, 2.274–277, 2.283–284, 2.292–294, 2.309–331, 4.394–417.Google Scholar
  69. C.S. Peirce: 1903–04, Lowell Lectures on Logic. MSS 447–478. Parts published in NEM III(1): 331–426;CP 1.15–26, 1.611–615, 4.510–529, 5.590–604, 6.88–97, 7.110–130, 7.182n7, 8.176; LOS: 1011–1021; SEM II: 127–165.Google Scholar
  70. C.S. Peirce: 1903, ca.-a, Nomenclature and Division of Triadic Relations, as far as They Are Determined (a manuscript continuation of the “Syllabus”). MS 540. In part in CP 2.233–272.Google Scholar
  71. C.S. Peirce: 1903, ca.-b, Sketch of Dichotomic Mathematics. MS 4; NEM IV: 285-300.Google Scholar
  72. C.S. Peirce: 1905a, [Draft for a letter to Lady Welby, July 16, 1905]. In part in S&S, p. 187.Google Scholar
  73. C.S. Peirce: 1905b, What Pragmatism Is. The Monist 15: 161-181; CP 5.411–437.Google Scholar
  74. C.S. Peirce: 1905, ca., [Letter] To Signor Calderoni, on Pragmaticism. CP 8.205–213.Google Scholar
  75. C.S. Peirce: 1907a, Pragmatism. MS 318. Parts published in CP 1.560–562, 5.11–13, 5.464–496; SEM III: 234–311.Google Scholar
  76. C.S. Peirce: 1907b, Second Talk to the Phil. Club [and] Second Talk. On Deduction. MS 754.Google Scholar
  77. C.S. Peirce: 1907, ca., Guessing. MS 687; The Hound and Horn (April–June, 1929) 2: 267–282; in part in CP 7.36–48.Google Scholar
  78. C.S. Peirce: 1908a, The Bed-Rock Beneath Pragmaticism (Bed). MS 300. Parts published in SEM III: 193–210; CP 4.561n, 4.553n2.Google Scholar
  79. C.S. Peirce: 1908b, A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God. The Hibbert Journal 7: 90-112; MS 841; CP 6.452–480.Google Scholar
  80. C.S. Peirce: 1908c, Some Amazing Mazes: Explanation of Curiosity the First. The Monist 18: 416-464; CP 4.594–638.Google Scholar
  81. C.S. Peirce: 1908d, Supplement, 1908 May 24 [concerning Peirce: 1907, CP 4.639–641].MS 204; in part in CP 7.535n6 and SEM I: 38f.Google Scholar
  82. C.S. Peirce: 1909, [Letter to William James, 25. December 1909]. L 224, NEM III: 867-878.Google Scholar
  83. C.S. Peirce: 1913, An Essay toward improving our Reasoning in Security and in Uberty. MS 682; EP II: 463–474; SEM III: 474–494.Google Scholar
  84. C.S. Peirce, and C. Ladd-Franklin: 1901–2/1911, Logic, Logic (exact), Logical, Logical Diagram (or Graph), Logo-, & c. Baldwin's Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology 2: 21-28, 30; CP 2.203–218, 3.616–625 (in part).Google Scholar
  85. H. Putnam: 1982, Peirce the Logician. Historia Mathematica 9(3): 290-301.Google Scholar
  86. W.V.O. Quine: 1969, Natural Kinds. In Ontological Relativity and other Essays. Columbia Univ. Press, New York et al., pp. 114-138.Google Scholar
  87. W.V.O. Quine: 1995, Peirce's Logic. In K.L. Ketner (ed.), Peirce and Contemporary Thought. Philosophical Inquiries. Fordham Univ. Press, New York, pp. 23-31.Google Scholar
  88. N. Rescher: 1995, Peirce on Abduction, Plausibility, and the Efficiency of Scientific Inquiry. In Essays in the History of Philosophy. Avebury, Aldershot, pp. 309-326.Google Scholar
  89. A. Richter: 1995, Der Begriff der Abduktion bei Charles Sanders Peirce. Lang, Frankfurt am Main.Google Scholar
  90. D. Stalker (ed.): 1994, Grue. The New Riddle of Induction. Open Court, Chicago and La Salle.Google Scholar
  91. R.A. Tursman: 1987, Peirce's Theory of Scientific Discovery. A System of Logic Conceived as Semiotic. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.Google Scholar
  92. U. Wirth: 1993, Die Abduktive Wende der Linguistik. Kodikas, Code — Ars Semeiotica 16: 289-301.Google Scholar
  93. J.J. Zeman: 1986, Peirce's Philosophy of Logic. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 22: 1-22.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Hoffmann
    • 1
  1. 1.IDMUniversity of BielefeldGermany

Personalised recommendations