The phrase “inference to the best explanation” was coined by Gilbert Harman in his attempt to explain abductive inference but it conveys the wrong impression to anyone who takes it as a substitute for the whole course of inquiry rather than just its starting point. Peirce himself was always very clear about this.
Bayes’ theorem is a deductive identity which adds no information to the observed data, nor is that its job. It adds no rows or columns to the matrix of contingencies nor makes the observations populating its cells. Those are jobs for the independent capacities of abductive and inductive reasoning.
- Functional Logic • Inquiry and Analogy
- Prospects for Inquiry Driven Systems
- Introduction to Inquiry Driven Systems
- Inquiry Driven Systems • Inquiry Into Inquiry