Induction and objectivity

Philosophy of Science 33 (3):215-229 (1966)
This paper is an attempt at a vindication of induction. The point of departure is that induction requires a justification and that the only kind of justification possible is a vindication. However traditional vindications of induction have rested on unjustified assumptions about the aim of induction. This vindication takes the end pursued in induction simply to be correct prediction. It is argued that induction is the only reasonable way of pursuing this end because induction is the only objective method of predicting. While objectivity is not a necessary condition for successful predicting, it is a sufficient condition for the possession of a property that is, in turn, a necessary condition for correct predicting; and further there could be no reason to expect any non-objective method to possess this necessary condition for success. Induction is the only objective method of predicting for it alone uses facts which must be identified by any predicting method based on rules; and it alone uses these facts according to a relationship that must hold between facts and any meaningful empirical statement. Any alternative to induction must assume that the factual regularities that have been detected will alter in the future and the way they are expected to alter must be arbitrary. It is further claimed that this vindication is proof against the criticisms that have been advanced against practicalist justifications of induction
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DOI 10.1086/288095
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