“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” – Albert Einstein.[*]
I have a gut feeling that abductive reasoning is just a fancy word for informed hunch or maybe even intuition. It seems to me that this type of thinking is the bridge from curiosity to creativite action. If even some science begins on this level of inquiry why is this type of thinking usually discouraged in businesses?
Well, the innovation-driven economy may be changing that.
“Designers also use and value inductive and deductive reasoning. Designers induce patterns through the close study of users and deduce answers through the application of design theories. However, designers value highly a third type of logic: abductive reasoning. Abductive reasoning, as described by Darden professor Jeanne Liedtka, embraces the logic of what might be. Designers may not be able to prove that something “is” or “must be,” but they nevertheless reason that it “may be.” This style of thinking is critical to the creative process.” BusinessWeek, 
“Abductive reasoning: constitutes according to Peirce the “first stage” of scientific inquiries and of any interpretive processes. “Abduction” is the process of adopting an explanatory hypothesis and covers two operations: the selection and the formation of plausible hypotheses. As process of finding premisses, it is the basis of interpretive reconstruction of causes and intentions, as well as of inventive construction of theories.” 
“Abduction, or inference to the best explanation, is a method of reasoning in which one chooses hypothesis which would, if true, best explain the relevant evidence. ” 
 Creativity that goes deep. BusinessWeek online >>
 What is Abductive Inference? >>
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