David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Studies 162 (2):319-332 (2013)
Many necessitarians about cause and law (Armstrong 1983; Mumford 2004; Bird 2007) have argued that Humeans are unable to justify their inductive inferences, as Humean laws are nothing but the sum of their instances. In this paper I argue against these necessitarian claims. I show that Armstrong is committed to the explanatory value of Humean laws (in the form of universally quantified statements), and that contra Armstrong, brute regularities often do have genuine explanatory value. I finish with a Humean attempt at a probabilistic justification of induction, but this fails due to its assumption that the proportionality syllogism is justified. Although this attempt fails, I nonetheless show that the Humean is at least as justified in reasoning inductively as Armstrong.
|Keywords||Humeanism Regularity theory Laws of nature Problem of induction Explanation Hume Armstrong Law of large numbers|
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References found in this work BETA
Alexander Bird (2007). Nature's Metaphysics: Laws and Properties. Oxford University Press.
Peter Lipton (2004). Inference to the Best Explanation. Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
David K. Lewis (1973). Counterfactuals. Blackwell Publishers.
Nelson Goodman (1983). Fact, Fiction, and Forecast. Harvard University Press.
B. D. Ellis (2001). Scientific Essentialism. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Benjamin T. H. Smart & Karim P. Y. Thébault (2015). Dispositions and the Principle of Least Action Revisited. Analysis 75 (3):386-395.
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