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Abductive Logic: How Is It Different From Inductive Logic And Why Do Textbooks Not Mention It?


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So I have read about abductive logic online - you can find it mentioned all over the place. Many websites assert that there are three types of logic - Deductive, Inductive, and Abductive.


But i'm confused, I have never come across a textbook that mentions abductive logic. Not only that, but abductive logic appears to be identifcal to a type of Inductive Logic called "Causal Inference". Causal Inference is where an effect is observed and the cause assumed, or a cause is observed and the effect is assumed. So if you spray weedkiller on a weed (cause) you would expect the weed to die (effect). Or alternatively, if you come across a dead weed, you could infer the cause as weedkiller (among other possible explanations).


As far as I can tell, this is what abductive logic is as well...


The simplest description I have of abductive logic is "if A is true, what else would we expect to see/happen?". That sounds a lot like "If effect A is observed, what cause(s) would we expect to see/happen?".


Here is the Stanford Encyclopedia article on Abduction: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abduction/


For reference, the six types of Inductive arguments are:


1. Prediction

2. Argument from analogy

3. Generalisation

4. Argument from authority

5. Argument based on signs

6. Causal Inference


Of course, it would see that there is a lot of disagreement around this as different sources say different things.

Edited by Wannabelifeguard
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