Methodeutic of Abduction

Francesco Bellucci*, Ahti Veikko Pietarinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Peirce’s claims that methodeutic “concerns abduction alone” and that “pragmatism contributes to the security of reasoning but hardly to its uberty” are explained. They match as soon as a third claim is taken into account, namely that “pragmatism is the logic of abduction,” not of deduction or induction. Since methodeutic concerns abduction and not deduction or induction, it follows that pragmatism is a maxim of methodeutic. Then, since pragmatism contributes to the security of reasoning but not to its uberty, it follows that methodeutic contributes to the security of the only reasoning it is concerned with, namely abduction. We then explain two related issues of methodeutic of abduction. First, in addition to the maxim of pragmatism, which suggests how to choose among experimental hypotheses contributing to the security of reasoning, there is the maxim of simplicity, which suggests hypotheses that are preferable for investment and which contributes to uberty of reasoning. Second, a third maxim of abduction is economy, which suggests adopting hypotheses that contribute to the advantageousness of reasoning even when pragmatism and simplicity cease to apply. These three maxims—experientiality for security, simplicity for uberty, and economy for advantageousness—are the bedrocks of Peirce’s methodeutic of abduction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbduction in Cognition and Action
Subtitle of host publicationLogical Reasoning, Scientific Inquiry, and Social Practice
EditorsJohn R. Shook, Sami Paavola
PublisherSpringer Cham
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783030617738
ISBN (Print)9783030617721, 9783030617752
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2021

Publication series

NameStudies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics
ISSN (Print)2192-6255
ISSN (Electronic)2192-6263

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy


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