Abductive Reasoning

Abductive reasoning (Also known as abduction or abductive inference) is a form of inductive reasoning that tries to guess preconditions/causes to observations and makes inferences to the best explanations. In other words it is a form of logical reasoning that takes observations and seeks to find the simplest or most likely explanation. It is always formally fallacious because it affirms the consequent.


  • Medical diagnosis - Given a specific set of symptoms, what diagnosis would best match explain the symptoms.
  • Rain - The grass gets wet when it rains. The grass is wet. It must have rained.
  • Baby - The baby cries when it is hungry. The baby is crying. The baby might be hungry.

Argument (AP Exam)

For the Argument section of the AP Exam, abductive reasoning will be used.


Why it is used

It is used to prove heavily qualified claims.

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