"In abductive arguments, focus on the inference. When a conclusion relies upon an inference and contains new information not found in the premises, the reasoning is inductive. For example, if premises were established that the defendant slurred his words, stumbled as he walked, and smelled of alcohol, you might reasonably infer the conclusion that the defendant was drunk. This is abductive reasoning. In an abductive argument the conclusion is, at best, probable. The conclusion is not always true when the premises are true. The probability of the conclusion depends on the strength of the inference from the premises. Thus, when dealing with abductive reasoning, pay special attention to the abductive leap or inference, by which the conclusion follows the premises."

My question is abductive reasoning is a fallacy https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/92822/what-is-the-relation-between-abductive-reasoning-and-fallacy so is the whole judiciary also fallacy ?

I have seen lot of people find observations/datas in order to fit the hypothesis or to prove the premises. I think this thing is unscientific. We gather data to find out if we are on the right track, not in order to prove that we are right. The second type of evidence-and-reasoning is that the lawyers in the criminal court engage in, not what academics ought to be doing. Do you agree?

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    – Dale M
    Sep 8 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


The judiciary is not a product of abductive reasoning

The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judicative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of courts that adjudicates legal disputes/disagreements and interprets, defends, and applies the law in legal cases.

We don't need to apply logic to determine if it exists; we can go out and see it, or at least part of it. Mostly, its a product of Constitutions and statutes.

Perhaps you meant to say that judicial decision-making is based on abductive reasoning?

Well, yes.

Unlike philosophy, the purpose of the courts is not to find the capital T Truth; it's to resolve disputes. In criminal matters, the dispute is between the State and the accused and in civil matters, it's between the plaintiff and the defendant.

It is not necessary or desirable to establish what happened; the court's role is to decide between competing explanations of what happened and whether one party or the other has proved their narrative to the required standard of proof.

This standard is never the certainty required by formal logic; it is either beyond reasonable doubt or balance of probabilities (what Americans call preponderance of the evidence). Abductive reasoning is perfectly sufficient for reaching those thresholds.

Abductive reasoning is not a logical falacy

Indeed, all but one of the answers to What is the relation between abductive reasoning and fallacy? say that it isn't.

What is a logical fallacy is saying that abductive reasoning can demonstrate the truth of the conclusion given the truth of the assumptions in the same way that deductive reasoning can. That doesn't make abductive (or inductive) reasoning invalid; they each must be used with knowledge of what they do prove and what they don't prove.

Given that the role of the judicial system is not to determine the truth (that's the job of philosophers), it's to determine how likely a particular explanation is and if that likelihood meets the required standard.

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