John Kaag

in Thinking Through the Imagination

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2014 | ISBN: 9780823254934
Published online September 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780823261512 | DOI:

Series: American Philosophy (FUP)


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This chapter focuses the relationship between Peircean abduction and the concepts of the imagination and genius in German idealism. It asks the following questions: What is abduction? Can abduction be formalized? How has abduction been described in the secondary literature? In light of this formalization and these more recent descriptions, what standards might be used to judge the verity and value of particular abductive processes? Most importantly for the purposes of the current project, to what extent does abductive logic coincide with the process of the imagination as described by Kant and Schiller? This last question is addressed in detail in the next chapter on musement and genius. But all these considerations shed light on Peirce's corpus and more generally on the nature of human cognition. In this respect, Jaakko Hintikka suggests that the questions concerning abduction stand as “the fundamental problem of contemporary epistemology.”

Keywords: Abduction; Inference; Insight; Instinct; Hypothesis formation; Induction; Deduction; Pragmatism; Aristotle; Peirce; Josephson; PEIRCE

Chapter.  6457 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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