Peirce on the justification of abduction

Francesco Bellucci, Ahti Veikko Pietarinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


What sort of justification can be claimed for abduction? In this paper we reconstruct Peirce's answer to this question. We show that in his early works on the logic of science Peirce provided an abductive justification of abduction, and that in his mature writings the early solution is enriched by a reference to the place abduction has in a typical scientific inquiry. Since abduction is the first stage of inquiry by which a hypothesis is suggested and which then has to be subjected to inductive testing, the fundamental abduction (ur-abduction) that justifies abduction has also to be subjected to a verification by means of a fundamental induction (ur-induction), namely that the abduction that abduction is valid is verified by an appeal to the history of science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Abduction
  • Classification of arguments
  • Hypothetic-deductive method
  • Induction
  • Logic
  • Peirce
  • Scientific inquiry


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