The abduction of Sherlock Holmes

David Carson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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All criminal investigations, and resulting trials, rely upon inferential reasoning. Theories, hypotheses and conclusions are drawn from the evidence. The victim's blood was on the knife; we infer it was the murder weapon. The suspect's fingerprints are on the knife; we infer he killed the victim. Sherlock Holmes, although a fictional character, remains renowned as a great detective. However, his methodology, which was abduction rather than deduction, and which is innocently used by many real detectives is rarely described, discussed or researched. This paper compares and contrasts the three forms of inferential reasoning and makes a case for articulating and developing the role of abduction in the work, and training, of police officers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Police Science & Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


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