Quora answer: Does design require abductive reasoning?

Abductive Reasoning was brought to our attention by Charles Peirce who noted that the syllogism has three possible permutations only two of which are used to define Induction and Deduction, therefore he gave meaning to the third permutation and called it abduction which means the generation of a hypothesis. His philosophy was called Pragmaticism (to distinguish it from the Pragmatism of William James who took many of his ideas from Peirce). Peirce believed that the Scientific Method was how all learning occurred and that is how we cope with the complexity and dynamics of the world in which we live, thus we are doing science all the time by generating hypotheses and then testing them against our experience of the world.

Based on this I would say that Design is by definition abductive because it is projective of some new organization on things in the world to produce emergent effects. You can deduct or induct after you have made the speculative leap but unless you make that speculative leap to a new design organization with emergent properties then there is nothing new that has been designed. However, if you are not designing anything new then you can use induction and deduction to guide the process of design.






Posted January 25, 2011 by kentpalmer in Uncategorized

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