1. Is abduction a species of induction? Can we abduce what we could never know by induction?

  2. And has anyone tried to enumerate what we can know by induction?

  • Deduction, Induction and Abduction on Wikipedia
    – user2953
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 12:45
  • that's not going to tell me anything new, i'm not asking how to define the terms, but if abdution reduces to induction
    – user6917
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 19:09
  • 1
    You're question whether abduction is a specie of induction can be answered by carefully reading that paragraph.
    – user2953
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 19:37
  • ok answer the question if you can / like mahn :) ?
    – user6917
    Commented Jan 17, 2015 at 4:21

2 Answers 2


See Abduction :

The term “abduction” was coined by Charles Sanders Peirce in his work on the logic of science. He introduced it to denote a type of non-deductive inference that was different from the already familiar inductive type.


the best way to distinguish between induction and abduction is this: both are ampliative, meaning that the conclusion goes beyond what is (logically) contained in the premises (which is why they are non-necessary inferences), but in abduction there is an implicit or explicit appeal to explanatory considerations, whereas in induction there is not; in induction, there is only an appeal to observed frequencies or statistics.

  • so it definitely doesn't collapse into induction ?
    – user6917
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 18:47
  • @MATHEMATICIAN - it is induction+explanation. Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 19:48
  • what i was trying to get it is whether abduction tells us something we cannot induce. i assume so?
    – user6917
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 20:53
  • 1
    This is an open issue as far as I'm aware, with people arguing for either side. Personally, I see abduction to collapse into induction, since the value behind the abductive choice can usually only be justified inductively.
    – MM8
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 9:35
  • @MMB what is meant be the "value behind the abductive choice"?
    – user51462
    Commented Sep 15, 2023 at 1:19

This Youtube video distinguished and explained most clearly for me:

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For a textual explanation, and the 3 words' etymology and etymological definitions, see https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/deduction-vs-induction-vs-abduction

If you have trouble differentiating deduction, induction, and abduction, thinking about their roots might help. All three words are based on Latin ducere, meaning "to lead." The prefix de- means "from," and deduction derives from generally accepted statements or facts. The prefix in- means "to" or "toward," and induction leads you to a generalization. The prefix ab- means "away," and you take away the best explanation in abduction.



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