Year: 1975 Source: Philosophy of the Social Sciences, v.5, no.3, (1975), p.241- 257 SIEC No: 19831820

A study of Durkheim’s “Suicide” (1897) in the context of the logic of discovery. Proceeding from a review of the factual reports on rates of suicide in the 19th century, a comparison of Durkheim’s 1888 study with his 1897 study reveals that Durkheim’s innovation was an abduction or retroductive inference, not a product of induction. Durkheim inferred from an old set of data the existence of states of society, which if true would make the rates ofsuicide follow “as a matter of course”.