The Routledge Companion to Semiotics

By Paul Cobley | Go to book overview

Part II
KEY THEMES AND MAJOR
FIGURES IN SEMIOTICS

A

ABDUCTION Abduction is the inferential process by which hypotheses are framed. It is the process of inference by which the rule that explains the fact is hypothesized through a relation of similarity (iconic relation) to that fact. This rule that acts as the general premise may be taken from a field of discourse that is close to or distant from that to which the fact belongs, or it may be invented ex novo. If the conclusion is confirmed, it retroacts on the rule and convalidates it (ab- or retro-duction). Such retroactive procedure makes abductive inference risky, exposing it to the possibility of error. At the same time, however, if the hypothesis is correct, the abduction is innovative, inventive and sometimes even surprising (cf. Bonfantini 1987).

According to Peirce:

Abduction is the process of
forming an explanatory hypothe -
sis. It is the only logical opera tion
which introduces any new idea; for
induction does nothing but
determine a value, and deduction
merely evolves the nec essary
consequences of a pure hypothesis.

Deduction proves that some -
thing must be; Induction shows
that something actually is opera -
tive; Abduction merely suggests
that something may be.

(CP 5.172)

The relation between the premises and the conclusion may be considered in terms of the relation between what we may call, respectively, interpreted signs and interpretant signs. In induc tion, the relation between premises and conclusion is determined by habit and is of the symbolic type. In deduction it is indexical, the conclusion being a necessary derivation from the premises. In abduction, the relation bet ween premises and conclusion is iconic, that is, it is a relation of reciprocal autonomy. This makes for a high degree of inventiveness together with a high risk margin for error. Abductive processes are highly dialogic and generate responses of the most risky, inventive and creative order. To claim that abductive argumentative procedures are risky is to say that they are mainly tentative and hypothetical, leaving only a minimal margin to convention (symbolicity)

-163-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Routledge Companion to Semiotics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Routledge Companion to Semiotics i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Contributors ix
  • Acknowledgements xvii
  • Using This Book xix
  • Part I- Understanding Semiotics 1
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - Ancient Semiotics 13
  • 2 - Semiotics of Nature 29
  • 3 - Umwelt and Modelling 43
  • 4 - Logic and Cognition 57
  • 5 - Realism and Epistemology 74
  • 6 - Peirce, Phenomenology and Semiotics 89
  • 7 - The Saussurean Heritage 101
  • 8 - Sociosemiotics 118
  • 9 - Semiotics of Media and Culture 135
  • 10 - Semioethics 150
  • Part II - Key Themes and Major Figures in Semiotics 163
  • References 359
  • Index 389
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 398

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.