Saturday, May 5, 2012

Thought Is Abduction


I communicated the following to a mentee of mine, and thought that the general audience might be interested.

 As my last post concerns the problem of knowledge, let me say a few more things.  For Dewey, thought is abductive.  In my own interpretation, experience is a chain of abductions from the body, qualitative consciousness, and cognitive/linguistic consciousness, which is something I can explain later.  Hence, claiming knowledge is always a form of abduction at root if knowledge requires human belief and hence thought.  This is what is implicit in Dewey's foremost article on the subject, the "Warranted Assertibility" article.  However, since abduction always invokes the adjudication of abductive criteria, even at the level of the body, we can never erase the "subject," the body, the culture, or the inquiry that came to that conclusion.  Instead, we aim for the most universal application of what is warranted and assertible, i.e., claimed to be known, and follow the procedures of experimental science and abductive logic.  Much of my own specialized work is in detailing the "chain of abductions" to formalize an Americanist phenomenology.

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