Names are not important of course, except for the purpose of communication. The important thing is for us to distinguish hypothesis formation from hypothesis evaluation. Now, there happens to be a long tradition of using the word abduction to distinguish that former, most incipient stage of inquiry and I think it serves communication to preserve that tradition.
Concepts, hypotheses, and theories have to be formed, logically speaking, before they can be evaluated. In complex inquiries extending over long periods of time, formation, evaluation, and re-formation will of course proceed in cascades of parallel and series operations, but the analytic distinction between elements and mixtures is still worth its salt.
The role of ab-, de-, in-duction in the cycle of inquiry is discussed a bit further in the following article:
- Prospects for Inquiry Driven Systems
- Introduction to Inquiry Driven Systems
- Functional Logic : Inquiry and Analogy