Well, we will take it as a working hypothesis for want of a better.
No, sir, I shall approach this case from the point of view that what this young man says is true, and we shall see whither that hypothesis will lead us.
His extreme love of solitude in England suggests the idea that he was in fear of someone or something, so we may assume as a working hypothesis that it was fear of someone or something which drove him from America.
"Well, certainly that is also a conceivable hypothesis," said Holmes, smiling.
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He hypothesized the existence of Pluto before its discovery.
The hypothetical situation made it easier for him to think about his problem more logically and less emotionally.