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16. Induction.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
Philosophy 1020
Professor
John Thorp
Semester
Fall

Description
16. Induction (November 3, 2011) 1. Deductive vs Inductive reasoning a) Deductive reasoning: All Greeks are mortal Socrates is a Greek Therefore, Socrates is mortal. b) Inductive reasoning: This raven is black. That raven is black. That other raven is black. That further raven over there is black. ... Therefore, all ravens are black.  A kind of reasoning that constructs or evaluates propositions that are abstractions of observations.  form of reasoning that makes generalizations based on individual instances 2. The "Problem" of Induction  Scientific reasoning is, for the most part, inductive reasoning  We think of science as, par excellence the instrument of knowledge and certainly  The laws of nature are not relations of idea thy are matters of fact  We have no good reason to believe: o That the law of gravity will hold tomorrow o That the sun will rise tomorrow  In general: that the future will resemble the past in these respects  Or rather… that unobserved portions of the universe resemble observed portions of the universe, in these respects  In other words  Hume’s view is that inductive reasoning is simply a habit: o We get used to the sum of rising every morning, so we assume it always will  What reason is there to think that the future will resemble the past?  To search for such a reason of 3. First Solution: The Inductive Principle: "the future will resemble the past"  Maybe we could find a principle, call it the “inductive principle” that we could insert into Inductive Argument so that they become Deductive Argument  The Inductive Principle would be something like: the future  Ex. This raven is black, that raven is black- the future will resemble the past (inductive argument) therefore, all ravens are black  Future will resemble the past, we are relying on the past  The inductive principle itself relies on an inductive argument (we’re reasoning in a circle) Problem with this solution: circular argument 4. Second Solution: The Pragmatic Solution (à la Pascal's Wager)  Hans Reichenback (1891-1953) American Philosopher  Reichenback proposed a pragmatic solution to the classical problem of induction, a solution that takes its inspiration from Pascal’s Wager  We could set it up this way:  Where L stands
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