Inductive incompleteness

Philosophical Studies 128 (1):109 - 135 (2006)
Nelson Goodman cast the ‘problem of induction’ as the task of articulating the principles and standards by which to distinguish valid from invalid inductive inferences. This paper explores some logical bounds on the ability of a rational reasoner to accomplish this task. By a simple argument, either an inductive inference method cannot admit its own fallibility, or there exists some non-inferable hypothesis whose non-inferability the method cannot infer (violating the principle of ‘negative introspection’). The paper discusses some implications of this limited self-knowledge for the justifiability of inductive inferences, auto-epistemic logic, and the epistemic foundations of game theory.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy of Mind   Philosophy of Religion
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