The logic of reliable and efficient inquiry

Journal of Philosophical Logic 28 (4):399-438 (1999)
Abstract
This paper pursues a thorough-going instrumentalist, or means-ends, approach to the theory of inductive inference. I consider three epistemic aims: convergence to a correct theory, fast convergence to a correct theory and steady convergence to a correct theory (avoiding retractions). For each of these, two questions arise: (1) What is the structure of inductive problems in which these aims are feasible? (2) When feasible, what are the inference methods that attain them? Formal learning theory provides the tools for a complete set of answers to these questions. As an illustration of the results, I apply means-ends analysis to various versions of Goodman's Riddle of Induction
Keywords inductive inference  Goodman's Riddle of Induction  learning theory  empirical inquiry  means-ends rationality
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