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PHD-DESIGN  February 2015

PHD-DESIGN February 2015

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Subject:

Re: Abduction

From:

Johann van der Merwe <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related research in Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 11 Feb 2015 06:30:32 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (188 lines)

Nicolai
Good example ... I have always maintained that designers (in putting on
their thinking hats) use both induction & deduction, which then leads them
to the abductive stage where "discoveries" are made ... (e.g., implicit
becomes explicit and in the process abduction or discovery is "let out")

... and since all theories of / for design thinking should be "weak"
theories (in the sense of not conclusive; not "proven"; cast in stone) as
opposed to hard / strong scientific theories, I agree with "Does not rely
on strong theory building", which does not mean that designers do not
utilise these (strong and/or scientific) theories, e.g., this material
behaves like this or that under those circumstances; X-grade concrete for
this purpose is made using the following formula ... when designing a new
axe for the far northern logging industry the metal needs to withstand -50C
temps, etc.

Abductive reasoning (based on weak theoretical inputs & outputs) for and in
design thinking focuses on the what and wherefore of what people believe,
what they like, what they expect, their emotions during use, all these
human "foibles" if you like, that have an enormous influence on the design
(and design process) itself ... abduction used as a weak theory is the
"hunched" hypothesis that can give form and direction to a wicked problem
space, and allied to "scientific" and proven knowledge can help fashion a
successful product (as long as the "weak thinking" is always allowed to be
present to remind the designer that a product always functions within a
human, aka "weak" & prone to change environment).

Johann

On 10 February 2015 at 22:22, Nicolai Steinø <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dear all,
>
> Some years back I did an urban design workshop with Thai and Danish BSc
> students at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. I used the example below to
> explain abduction, as opposed to deduction and induction. I find the
> example useful because it explains the difference by the order of a rule, a
> case and a result, respectively.
>
> Unfortunately I no longer remember where I got it from.
>
> Best,
>
> Nic
>
> --
>
> Research approach
>
> American pragmatist philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce
>
> Deduction (necessary inferences)
>
> Rule All thai people have dark hair
> Case All the people we have met are thai
> Result Therefore, all people we have met have dark hair
>
> Induction (probable inferences)
>
> Result All people we have met have dark hair
> Case All the people we have met are thai
> Rule Therefore, all thai people have dark hair
>
> Abduction (hypotheses)
>
> Rule All thai people have dark hair
> Result All people we have met have dark hair
> Case Therefore, all the people we have met are thai
>
> Pros and cons of abduction
>
> Does not rely on strong theory building
> Does not rely on large samples
> Requires a capacity for making 'hunches'
> The validity of the conclusion relies on the quality of the hunch
>
>
>
> NICOLAI STEINØ
> Associate Professor, PhD, GDBA
>
> AALBORG UNIVERSITY
> DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE, DESIGN and MEDIA TECHNOLOGY
> Rendsborggade 14 · DK - 9000 AALBORG
>
> Office: 6.330a
> Office hours: By appointment only
>
> TEL: (+45) 99 40 71 36
> CELL: (+45) 28 76 06 98
>
> eMail: [log in to unmask]
> <applewebdata:[log in to unmask]>
> Staff profile: http://personprofil.aau.dk/Profil/107588?languageId=1
> Homepage: http://homes.create.aau.dk/steino
> Blog: http://steino.wordpress.com
> Academia: http://aalborg.academia.edu/NicolaiSteinø<
> http://aalborg.academia.edu/NicolaiStein%C3%B8>
>
>
>
> Den 10/02/2015 kl. 20.29 skrev Ken Friedman <[log in to unmask]
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>:
>
> Dear Terry and all,
>
> Abduction is essentially a mode of forming hypotheses. Technically,
> abduction is “inference to best explanation.” This entails many issues —
> with room for debate. The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy offers an
> excellent article on abduction, with a good reference list and sources of
> additional information:
>
> http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/abduction/
>
> While C. S. Peirce wrote at length on abduction, he was not the first to
> do so earlier or since. The phenomenon has long been described in different
> ways. The crucial issue is that abduction is a logic of discovery.
> Abductive inference is not a logic of proof — one requires other means to
> determine the validity or facticity of abductive inference.
>
> This is why abduction is one method of hypothesis formation. Generating
> hypotheses is a necessary step in discovery, but for everything human
> beings have learned, there have been more false or incorrect hypotheses
> than true or correct hypotheses.
>
> In recent articles and reports, I have seen the incorrect assertion that
> scientific research makes use of induction and deduction while design
> research makes use of abduction. This is incorrect. Scientists use
> abduction to form hypotheses, and researchers in all fields require
> induction and deduction — as well as experiment and observation — to choose
> among hypotheses.
>
> Peirce and others treat abduction as a way of knowing, but not as a way of
> validating the knowledge. This requires other methods.
>
> For those who wish to read further, I have a DropBox collection of
> articles on abduction in PDF format. If you wish access to the collection,
> send me an off-list email and I will be happy to grant access to the
> collection.
>
> Regards,
>
> Ken
>
> Ken Friedman, PhD, DSc (hc), FDRS | Editor-in-Chief | 设计 She Ji. The
> Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation | Published by Elsevier in
> Cooperation with Tongji University Press | Launching in 2015
>
> Chair Professor of Design Innovation Studies | College of Design and
> Innovation | Tongji University | Shanghai, China ||| University
> Distinguished Professor | Centre for Design Innovation | Swinburne
> University of Technology | Melbourne, Australia
>
> Email [log in to unmask] | Academia
> http://swinburne.academia.edu/KenFriedman | D&I http://tjdi.tongji.edu.cn
>
>
>
>
>
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-- 
Dr. Johann van der Merwe
Independent Design Researcher


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