Re: AI and Logic: Induction, Deduction, Abduction (was Re: Penrose)

Wayne Hayes (
Thu, 13 Nov 1997 10:45:09 -0500

Dan Fabulich <> writes:
>At 12:18 PM 11/12/97 -0500, you wrote:
>>The process of hypothesizing (B) from the knowledge of (A) and the
> ^^^^^^^^^^^
>>observation (C) is called abduction.
>Ah ha! I *KNEW* we had a word for it somewhere! My question: do we
>really need a new word that means hypothesis?

Yes, because hypothesis has at least two uses: inductive and
abductive. The "laws of physics", for example, are inductive
hypotheses. They have mounds of evidence behind them, but they can
never be proven. Newton's Law of Gravitation is an example of a very
successful inductive hypothesis thas was proven false (although usually
an excellent approximation) with the advent of General Relativity.