Advice on abductive logic

Dov Gabbay, John Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


One of our purposes here is to expose something of the elementary logical structure of abductive reasoning, and to do so in a way that helps orient theorists to the various tasks that a logic of abduction should concern itself with. We are mindful of criticisms that have been levelled against the very idea of a logic of abduction; so we think it prudent to proceed with a certain diffidence. That our own account of abduction is itself abductive is methodological expression of this diffidence. A second objective is to test our conception of abduction's logical structure against some of the more promising going accounts of abductive reasoning. We offer our various suggestions in a benignly advisory way. The primary targets of our advice is ourselves, meant as guides to work we have yet to complete or, in some instances, start. It is possible that our colleagues in the abduction research communities will find our counsel to be of some interest. But we repeat that our first concern is to try to get ourselves straight about what a logic of abduction should encompass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-219
Number of pages31
JournalLogic Journal of the IGPL
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


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