This dissertation builds upon George Pólya’s heuristic method of inductive and analogical reasoning to contribute to research methodology in human geography. Plausible reasoning is presented here as a practical methodology that aims to specify the logical relations behind judgments of credibility and to leverage them in heuristic and dialectic fashion to aid in the processes of posing research questions, formulating conjectures, debating the weight of evidence, and clarifying analogies. After Harold Jeffreys, I view plausible reasoning as an epistemological complement to ‘critical realist’ philosophies of science.

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Connor Donegan. Plausible Reasoning and Heuristic Methodology in Human Geography: An Investigation of Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Inequalities in Urban Texas, 1999-2019. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Texas at Dallas. Dallas, Texas, 2023.