New Light on Peirce's Conceptions of Retroduction, Deduction, and Scientific Reasoning

Ahti Veikko Pietarinen*, Francesco Bellucci*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    69 Citations (Scopus)


    We examine Charles S. Peirce's mature views on the logic of science, especially as contained in his later and still mostly unpublished writings (1907–1914). We focus on two main issues. The first concerns Peirce's late conception of retroduction. Peirce conceived inquiry as performed in three stages, which correspond to three classes of inferences: abduction or retroduction, deduction, and induction. The question of the logical form of retroduction, of its logical justification, and of its methodology stands out as the three major threads in his later writings. The other issue concerns the second stage of scientific inquiry, deduction. According to Peirce's later formulation, deduction is divided not only into two kinds (corollarial and theorematic) but also into two sub-stages: logical analysis and mathematical reasoning, where the latter is either corollarial or theorematic. Save for the inductive stage, which we do not address here, these points cover the essentials of Peirce's latest thinking on the logic of science and reasoning.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)353-373
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Studies in the Philosophy of Science
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2014

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • History and Philosophy of Science


    Dive into the research topics of 'New Light on Peirce's Conceptions of Retroduction, Deduction, and Scientific Reasoning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this