Working Papers

From Steps and Phases to Dynamically Evolving Abduction

Sami Paavola

A paper presented at the Charles S. Peirce International Centennial Congress 2014. Invigorating Philosophy for the 21st Century. Lowell, USA, 16-19 July.

In this paper interplay between Peircean abduction and modern literature on methodology is analyzed. Abduction is used in methodological discussions on qualitative methods, for example, in relation to grounded theory, case study methodology, and ethnography. Basic uses of abduction in this literature are presented. They provide a perspective on abduction treated dynamically besides more traditional outlooks on abduction as specific reasoning steps or as a first phase in methodology. Abduction gives especially means of seeing the role of theorizing and the interaction between theories and observations in methodology. A list of abductive strategies (seven in all) are presented which are in line with a dynamic view on abduction. Peirce provides elements for this kind of an interpretation even though methodeutic was the vaguest and the least developed area of his theory of logic.

Paavola, S. (2014). From Steps and Phases to Dynamically Evolving Abduction (Commens Working Papers no. 5). Retrieved from Commens: Digital Companion to C. S. Peirce,
August 28, 2014