Graduate studies at Western
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 74 (1):207-35 (2000)
|Abstract||[Peter Lipton] From a reliabilist point of view, our inferential practices make us into instruments for determining the truth value of hypotheses where, like all instruments, reliability is a central virtue. I apply this perspective to second-order inductions, the inductive assessments of inductive practices. Such assessments are extremely common, for example whenever we test the reliability of our instruments or our informants. Nevertheless, the inductive assessment of induction has had a bad name ever since David Hume maintained that any attempt to justify induction by means of an inductive argument must beg the question. I will consider how the inductive justification of induction fares from the reliabilist point of view. I will also consider two other well-known arguments that can be construed as inductive assessments of induction. One is the miracle argument, according to which the truth of scientific theories should be inferred as the best explanation of their predictive success; the other is the disaster argument, according to which we should infer that all present and future theories are false on the grounds that all past theories have been found to be false. \\\ [John Worrall] Science seems in some ways to have been remarkably successful. What does this success tell us about the epistemological status of current scientific claims? Peter Lipton considers various meta-inductive arguments each of which start from premises about science's 'track record'. I show that his endorsements of the 'strongest' of these are, on analysis, remarkably weak. I argue that this is a reflection of difficulties within the general epistemological framework that he adopts-that of reliabilism. Finally, I briefly outline the quite different approach that I take to this issue, in the process responding to Lipton's criticisms of the 'pessimistic meta-induction'|
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