One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: characterized by working backwards from effect to cause. Later: (Philosophy) characterized by or relating to retroduction. Also as adverb: = "retroductively".
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Bentley's Miscellany. From classical Latin retrōduct-, past participial stem of retrōdūcere retroduce + -ive, after retroduction.
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