File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2003/bhaskar.0304, message 20


Subject: BHA: RE: Re: Re: Research Methods Texts
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 13:55:07 -0400


Yes, I've seen abduction treated very differently than Danermark et al. do.
These uses are mainly like Danermark et al.'s discussion of the logic of
abduction. See, for example:

Blanco, Hilda. 1994. How to think about social problems : American
pragmatism and the idea of planning, Contributions in political science no.
346. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Blanco treats abduction much more as a sort of Sherlock Holmes activity in
which one infers what might have been a cause from empirical clues. I also
understood Bhaskar's treatment of retroduction to be somewhat different from
Danermark, et al.'s in that it is not just about identifying a structure
with certain causal powers but also about corroborating a hypothesized
structure with independent experiments or other evidence. In other words, if
the structure exists then it should manifest itself in entirely different
contexts. Eventually, a science comes to accept a structure like this as
real, rather than hypothetical, and uses this knowledge to discover other
structures.

I wonder. How widespread are abduction and retroduction as terms?

	Marsh Feldman

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu
> [mailto:owner-bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu]On Behalf Of Caroline
> New
> Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 2:56 PM
> To: bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu
> Subject: BHA: Re: Re: Research Methods Texts
>
>
> Jamie, this is a helpful message for me, because I've been trying
> to figure
> out why abduction is called a mode of inference at all. The term
> seems to be
> used in very different ways. I can't really see how, in Danermark et al's
> book, it works as a mode of inference. It seems to involve
> applying a theory
> to a set of phenomena, or framing them within a certain model, and thus
> reconceptualising them... and Danermark et al seem to recommend a repeated
> process of abduction during the first stages of research. But surely
> abduction in this sense is just another term for theorising or model
> building? In the book Bob Carter and I are currently editing about realist
> social theory and empirical research, Wendy Olsen has a chapter on
> methodological triangulation, which sounded rather like abduction in
> Danermark et al's account, in the sense that it raises the question of how
> you judge which description or redescription is better. But when
> I suggested
> to Wendy she might find Danermark et al's treatment of abduction
> useful, she
> said the concept as she understood it came from phenomenology and meant
> something quite different. I am left confused and unconvinced of
> its value.
> What do others think? Caroline New
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Jamie Morgan <jamie-AT-morganj58.fsnet.co.uk>
> To: <bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu>
> Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 8:16 AM
> Subject: BHA: Re: Research Methods Texts
>
>
> > Since analytical statistical packages dominate research one would expect
> > deductive and inductive methods to dominate - on a purely market driven
> > basis Peirce's concept of abduction as the inference tot he
> best argument
> > may not fit easily into systems that go from samples to populations & c.
> In
> > so far as it entails a far more explicit evaluative role it produces a
> > degree of complexity that would be its own textbook - it's
> easier just to
> > set it aside I guess.
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Marshall Feldman" <marsh-AT-uri.edu>
> > To: <bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu>
> > Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 10:31 PM
> > Subject: BHA: Research Methods Texts
> >
> >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > I'm teaching a course on research methods and using two
> textbooks. One,
> > > _Social Research Methods_ by Lawrence Neuman is fairly
> standard although
> > far
> > > less dogmatic than most that I've seen. The other,
> _Explaining Society_
> by
> > > Danermark, et al. is explicitly based in CR. At one point we
> covered the
> > > logic of research. Neuman discusses inductive and deductive reasoning;
> > > Danermark discuses both of these as well as abductive and retroductive
> > > reasoning. One of the students asked what I thought was a very good
> > > question. Why doesn't Neuman cover these other modes of reasoning as
> well?
> > I
> > > explained that Neuman is updating a text (now in its 5th edition) that
> > > originally didn't have to deal with CR and there's a certain
> > path-dependence
> > > for the textbook that makes incorporating such concepts now very
> > difficult.
> > > In effect, the entire text would have to be reorganized.
> > >
> > > I'm not entirely satisfied with this answer. Why do you think
> this stuff
> > > hasn't become more common in methods textbooks? Do you know
> of any that
> do
> > a
> > > better job with this?
> > >
> > > Marsh Feldman
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >      --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >      --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---
>
>
>
>
>      --- from list bhaskar-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu ---
>



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