Abductive reasoning  

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Sherlock Holmes (right) and Dr. Watson, drawing by Sidney Paget
Sherlock Holmes (right) and Dr. Watson, drawing by Sidney Paget

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Abduction is a method of logical inference introduced by Charles Sanders Peirce which comes prior to induction and deduction for which the colloquial name is to have a "hunch". Abductive reasoning starts when an inquirer considers of a set of seemingly unrelated facts, armed with an intuition that they are somehow connected. The term abduction is commonly presumed to mean the same thing as hypothesis; however, an abduction is actually the process of inference that produces a hypothesis as its end result.

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