How can you explain to a 5 y.o. how abductive reasoning differs from IBE? I don't understand even though I read SPE and these papers:

Campos, Daniel G. On the Distinction between Peirce’s Abduction and Lipton’s Inference to the Best Explanation (2011). https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11229-009-9709-3

Iranzo, Valeriano. Abduction and Inference to the Best Explanation (2007)

McAuliffe, William H.B. How did Abduction Get Confused with Inference to the Best Explanation? (2015) http://www.psy.miami.edu/ehblab/Abduction%20is%20not%20IBE.%20WB%20McAuliffe.pdf

Walton, Douglas N. Abductive, presumptive and plausible arguments (2001)

Yu, Shiyang, Frank Zenker. Peirce Knew Why Abduction Isn’t IBE—A Scheme and Critical Questions for Abductive Argument (2017)

  • I do not know about a 5 year old, but McAuliffe in one place describes the supposed difference very clearly:"Peirce is associating abduction with hypothesis construction, not with inferring the truth of a hypothesis". In other words, abduction is not even an inference, it has to do not with criteria for selecting a hypothesis, but with generating it in the first place (responsibility for which Peirce ascribes to "instinct"). However, Peirce also talks about "abductive inference", so I am not sure what is achieved by such hair-splitting. In modern use, the two terms are used interchangeably. – Conifold Jun 14 at 22:03
  • I was under the impression that Peirce defines abduction as inference to the best explanation. Creating explanatory hypotheses is impossible prior to a logical analysis of what sort of hypothesis is required. So perhaps abduction could be called inference to the best explanation we can create. – PeterJ Jun 15 at 12:50
  • @PeterJ Inference to the best explanation is Harman's term from 1965. Even in those passages where Peirce talks about abduction/retroduction as an inference it is, at best, inference to some explanation, that predates "logical analysis" and testing. By instinctive response, "the inquirer is led to regard his conjecture, or hypothesis, with favor." Later he separated the creative and the inferential stage and called the former "abduction". "Best" can only be claimed after multiple iterations, long after the abductions. – Conifold Jun 16 at 10:41
  • @Conifold Yes, but logic is required in order to design an hypothesis that is appropriate and useful, so I cannot see the point in separating the processes. It is only logic that tells us when hypotheses are required and what they need to look like. I take your point about Peirce, but to me the new and the old meaning of abduction are both correct and have to be combined for a complete process. . . . – PeterJ Jun 16 at 10:54
  • @PeterJ Logic is neither required, nor useful at the initial stage of discovery/invention. It is more of an intuitive, analogical/metaphorical endeavor, hence "abduction". Appropriate and useful hypotheses do not emerge like Athena out of Zeus's head, although Peirce believed that we have instinctive faculty for hunches with good rate of eventual success. The "complete process" he called logic of discovery and economy of research, and they include many other parts, deduction, induction, criticism, testing, etc. – Conifold Jun 16 at 11:07

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