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abduct +‎ -ive


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  • The justification for thinking there are states of affairs could thus be regarded as abductive, that is, as a kind of inference to the best explanation.

    States of Affairs Wetzel, Thomas 2003

  • A brilliant London-based detective, Holmes is famous for his intellectual prowess, and is renowned for his skillful use of "deductive reasoning" while using abductive reasoning and astute observation to solve difficult cases.

    Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell Taking on Comedic Sherlock Holmes « 2008

  • He doesn't seem to understand the difference between comparing and evaluating competing hypotheses with respect to explaining a set of data (abductive reasoning), and just assuming that one of the proposed hypotheses is true.

    Carry-Over Thread 2007

  • The argument from there to theism, however, is not deductive, as you misleadingly imply, but rather abductive, as I have said since I first started posting on TT.

    Barney Teaches a "Scientific Fact" 2007

  • At what point did I say that the argument for objective morality wasn't abductive?

    Carry-Over Thread 2007

  • It is the conclusion of an abductive inference which goes like this: the best or most likely explanation for the fact that scientific activity and rational inquiry more generally appear to disclose a highly rational, elegantly coherent, intelligible, predictable, enduring, and ordered physical world (plus many other phenomena such as morality, religious experience, aesthetic experience, etc) is that theism is true.

    An Interview with Elisabet Sahtouris 2007

  • Doug, I think a cosmological argument can be re-cast as an abductive inference to a best explanation.

    Behe's response to Many Universes Hypothesis 2007

  • But abductive inferences are never necessitated by any data, of course.

    A New Weapon Against Freedom and ID: Volksverhetzung 2007

  • (I emphasize "the greater part" because intuition, abductive reasoning, etc. often play a critical role in formulating, for example, hypotheses, and abductive reasoning is not apparently reliant upon purely empirical/rational bases, nor even upon a methodological materialsim.)

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with... 2009

  • In my opinion, theism happens to be the abductive hypothesis that best explains all the data we have across the board.

    A New Weapon Against Freedom and ID: Volksverhetzung 2007


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