Watkins and the pragmatic problem of induction

Analysis 49 (4):203-205 (1989)
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Abstract

Watkins proposes a neo-Popperian solution to the pragmatic problem of induction. He asserts that evidence can be used non-inductively to prefer the principle that corroboration is more successful over all human history than that, say, counter-corroboration is more successful either over this same period or in the future. Watkins's argument for rejecting the first counter-corroborationist alternative is beside the point. However, as whatever is the best strategy over all human history is irrelevant to the pragmatic problem of induction since we are not required to act in the past, and his argument for rejecting the second presupposes induction.

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