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PHL246 Midterm I Review Notes.docx

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Franz Huber

PHL246 – Midterm I Review Notes Hume’s argument against induction 1. The theory of induction must be justified by either a deductively valid argument or an inductively strong argument. 2. There are no deductively valid arguments to justify the theory of induction because premises of an inductive argument involve statements about the present or past, and the conclusion always involves the future. 3. There are no inductively strong arguments for the theory of induction, because an inductive argument to prove the theory of induction would have to assume that the theory of induction is true (which is a circular argument) Hempel – The Logic of Confirmation Aim: wants to analyze confirmation so that he can have a proper definition of (qualitative) confirmation • Intuitive and logical conditions that we take confirmation to satisfy: ∀ o Nicod’s Criterion (NC) - Hypotheses of the form x (Fx  Gx) are confirmed by instances of (Fx^Gx) o Equivalence Condition (EC) – If E confirms H, and H and F are logically equivalent, then E confirms F. • Raven’s Paradox o Results from NC and EC  The paradox: it is logically valid (from NC and EC) that an evidence E that has nothing to do with a hypothesis H can nevertheless confirm H.  H: All ravens are black  H is logically equivalent to F: Something is not a raven or it is black.  A black notebook is an instance of F.  A black notebook confirms F.  Since F is logically equivalent to H, the black notebook also confirms H. i.e. The black notebook is an instance that confirms that all ravens are black. o Hempel argues that the Raven’s “paradox” is not really a paradox; it is only seemingly so because we make background assumptions (e.g. the relationship between black notebooks and ravens) which shouldn’t enter the logical equation of confirmation • “The Prediction Criterion and its shortcomings” o The Prediction Criterion is a “second conception of confirmation” we have (in addition to NC and EC) o Idea: If a hypothesis predicts A, and A happens, then A is said to confirm the hypothesis o PR-Confirmation: (Formal definition)  Let H be a hypothesis, B an observation report  B confirms H if B can be divided into two mutually exclusive subclasses, B1 and B2, such that B2 is not empty and every sentence of B2 can be logically deduced from (B1^H), but not B1 alone  B is said to disconfirm H if H logically contradicts B  B is said to be neutral with respect to H if it neither confirms nor disconfirms H. ∀  E.g. H: x(Mx ^ Hx  Ex), B: (Ma, Ha, Ea) • B1: (Ma ^ Ha), B2: Ea • Ma ^ Ha  Ea, because of H • i.e. H ^ B1  B2, so B confirms H!  Alternative definition: • E PR-confirms H iff (H^E1)E2 o Shortcomings:  PR-confirmation only works for specific
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