Non-explanatory and Instrumental Abduction

Plausibility, Implausibility, Ignorance Preservation
  • Lorenzo Magnani
Part of the Cognitive Systems Monographs book series (COSMOS, volume 3)


In chapter one I have illustrated the basic distinction between theoretical and manipulative abduction and the other main features of abductive cognition. Further important cognitive and logico-epistemological considerations have to be added. First of all the fact that abduction is a procedure in which something that lacks classical explanatory epistemic virtue can be accepted because it has virtue of another kind: [Gabbay and Woods, 2005] contend that abduction presents an ignorance preserving (but also an ignorance mitigating) character. From this perspective abductive reasoning is a response to an ignorance-problem; through abduction the basic ignorance – that does not have to be considered a total “ignorance” – is neither solved nor left intact. Abductive reasoning is an ignorance-preserving accommodation of the problem at hand.


Conceptual Change External Representation Abductive Reasoning Abductive Inference Explanatory Abduction 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

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  • Lorenzo Magnani

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