Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Quarterly 52 (207):226-232 (2002)
|Abstract||In a recent paper replying to the inductive sceptic, Samir Okasha says that the Humean argument for inductive scepticism depends on mistakenly construing inductive reasoning as based on a principle of the uniformity of nature. I dispute Okasha's argument that we are entitled to the background beliefs on which (he says) inductive reasoning depends. Furthermore, I argue that the sorts of theoretically impoverished contexts to which a uniformity-of-nature principle has traditionally been restricted are exactly the contexts relevant to the inductive sceptic's argument, and (pace Okasha) are not at all remote from actual scientific practice. I discuss several scientific examples involving such contexts|
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