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Chapter 16

PHLA10H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 16: Circular Reasoning


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHLA10H3
Professor
William Seager
Chapter
16

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Can Humes Skepticism Be Refuted?
What,Exactly,Does the Principle of the Uniformity of Nature say?
1. PUN is something we believe
2. PUN gives definite advice about what we should infer from observations we have
made
3. If we want to make inductive inferences About the world, PUN is something we
must believe no matter what else we believe
A New Concept: Degrees of Reliability
A different version of Humes argument that Induction can't be rationally justified
It involves the idea that a method of inference possesses some degree of reliability
A method of inference is high reliable if the predictions it makes are usually true
What is a rule of Inference?
It permits you to draw conclusions
I've examined lots of im Esmeralds and all have been green
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All Esmeralds are green
The rule of inference being used is Induction
Does the Past Reliability of Induction Provide an Answer?
The argument is circular or question-begging
You can't justify using Induction now by appeal to the fact that Induction has been
successful in the past
Humes Argument Reformulated
1. To rationally justify Induction, you must show that Induction will be reliable
2. To show that Induction will be reliable, you must construct an inductive argument
or a deductively valid argument
3. You can't show that Induction will be reliable by giving an inductive argument; that
would be question-begging
4. You can't validly deduce that Induction will be reliable from premises describing
the past reliability of Induction(or from definitions)
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Hence, Induction cannot be rationally justified
Strawson: it is analytic that Induction is rational
Strawson thinks that Induction is rational
It's a priori truth, where Induction is by definition a rational activity
It is entirely rational to use inductive methods to formulate our beliefs about the
future, even though we can offer no good reason for expecting that the method will
probably lead to true beliefs
Seaber believes strawson is wrong
Using an instrument does not mean that it will be rational justifiable
It depends on the outcome
Black: Induction Can Be Inductively Justified Consider the following argument
Induction has been highly reliable until now
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