Only Abductive Reasoning Can Produce New Ideas (Peirce)

Charles Sanders Peirce suggested that only abductive reasoning can produce new ideas. As Madsbjerg recounts, Peirce argues that only this kind of non-linear thinking, which develops educated guesses after observing phenomena with no set explanation, is capable of generating creative insights. This is because abductive thinking begins without any preconceptions about what is known or unknown; it begins with a state of openness to data and information from a wide variety of sources. As patterns emerge and are identified, theories are allowed to emerge; these, then, can turn into a new insight.

However, for the same reasons, abductive reasoning is also subject to great fallibility. It's a muscle that requires training so that the practitioner is able to recognize a worthwhile insight.



[[Madsbjerg - Sensemaking|Madsbjerg, Christian. Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm. Hachette Books, 2017.]]