Revisiting Abductive Reasoning Triadic Communication as a Methodological Antidote to Dichotomous Thinking

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Michael R. Kearney


Abduction, a mode of reasoning identified by Charles Sanders Peirce, informs theories of clinical decision-­making, but its existing applications to the medical sciences have remained narrow. Building from existing research in the context of patient noncompliance and clinical inertia, this paper advocates a broader understanding of abductive reasoning rooted within the nature of language itself. An example of such a reading of abduction is the theory of triadic communication articulated by American doctor-­turned-­novelist Walker Percy. Percy’s scholarship offers an impetus to examine noncompliance, inertia, and other loci of uncertainty as opportunities for learning, growth, and development of RHM perspectives.

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Michael R. Kearney, Duquesne University

Michael R. Kearney (MA, Duquesne University, 2019) is a Ph.D. student and graduate assistant in the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University.



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