The abductive approach to synthetic autonomous reasoning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Abductive inference, as defined by Charles S. Peirce, involves (1) observation of a surprising fact, (2) formulating (guessing) a proposition which, if true, would explain this fact as a matter of course, (3) and provisional acceptance of the proposition as true, (4) leading to its being taken as a premise for subsequent deduction, the consequences of which will then be related to further observations via induction-surprises from which can then trigger new abductive inferences, and so forth. Peirce limited this process to human reasoning because he viewed thought as a semiosis (flow of signs) continuous between the human mind and the world, such that (1) the human subject is in thought, as opposed to thought being in the subject, and that (2) there is an intrinsic ability of human beings to "guess right" as a consequence of this continuity of mind and world. The challenge posed by this view of thinking is that, unlike a human subject, any vehicle for autonomous reasoning is a newly created object that is separate from the world. It cannot be what Martin Heidegger termed a "being-in-the-world" because of the artificial separation of its thought from the world viewed as semiosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMicro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications XI
EditorsThomas George, M. Saif Islam
ISBN (Electronic)9781510626294
StatePublished - 2019
Event2019 Micro- and Nanotechnology (MNT) Sensors, Systems, and Applications XI Conference - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Apr 14 2019Apr 18 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


Conference2019 Micro- and Nanotechnology (MNT) Sensors, Systems, and Applications XI Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Abduction
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Autonomous systems
  • Mind
  • Reasoning
  • Semiosis
  • Thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'The abductive approach to synthetic autonomous reasoning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this