Single Idea 4634

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / a. Best explanation]

Full Idea

There are some 'principles of selection' in abduction: 1) prefer simple explanations, 2) prefer coherent explanations (consistent with what is already held true), 3) prefer theories that make testable predictions, and 4) be comprehensive in scope.


'Abduction' is inference to the best explanation

Gist of Idea

Abduction aims at simplicity, testability, coherence and comprehensiveness


J Baggini / PS Fosl (The Philosopher's Toolkit [2003], 2.01)

Book Reference

Baggini,J and Fosl,P.S.: 'The Philosopher's Toolkit' [Blackwells 2003], p.38

A Reaction

Note that these are desirable, but not necessary (pace Ockham and Ayer). I cannot think of anything to add to the list, so I will adopt it. Abduction is the key to rationality.