David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
I develop a critique of Hume’s infamous problem of induction based upon the idea that the principle of induction (PI) is a normative rather than descriptive claim. I argue that Hume’s problem is a false dilemma, since the PI might be neither a “relation of ideas” nor a “matter of fact” but rather what I call a contingent normative statement. In this case, the PI could be justified by a means-ends argument in which the link between means and end is established solely by deductive reasoning. The means-ends argument is an elementary result from formal learning theory that you must be willing to make inductive generalizations if you want to be logically reliable in the types of examples Hume described. This justification of the PI avoids both horns of Hume’s dilemma. Since no contradiction ensues from rejecting logical reliability as an aim, the PI is contingent. Yet since the proof concerning the PI and logical reliability is not based on inductive reasoning, there is no threat of circularity.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
O. Schulte (2000). Discussion. What to Believe and What to Take Seriously: A Reply to David Chart Concerning the Riddle of Induction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (1):151-153.
O. Schulte (1999). Means-Ends Epistemology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (1):1-31.
Peter Lipton (2005). Waiting for Hume. In Marina Frasca-Spada & P. J. E. Kail (eds.), Impressions of Hume. Oxford University Press. 59.
Daniel Steel (2011). On Not Changing the Problem: A Reply to Howson. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (3):285 - 291.
Stephen J. Boulter (2002). Hume on Induction: A Genuine Problem or Theology's Trojan Horse? Philosophy 77 (1):67-86.
Samir Okasha (2005). Does Hume's Argument Against Induction Rest on a Quantifier-Shift Fallacy? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (2):253–271.
Louis E. Loeb (2006). Psychology, Epistemology, and Skepticism in Hume's Argument About Induction. Synthese 152 (3):321 - 338.
Daniel Steel & S. Kedzie Hall (2011). What If the Principle of Induction Is Normative? Formal Learning Theory and Hume's Problem. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):171-185.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads52 ( #38,642 of 1,692,194 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #59,665 of 1,692,194 )
How can I increase my downloads?