Evidence, Significance, and Counterfactuals: Schramm on the New Riddle of Induction

Erkenntnis 81 (1):143-154 (2016)

Authors
Chris Dorst
University of Florida
Abstract
In a recent paper in this journal, Schramm presents what he takes to be an answer to Goodman’s New Riddle of Induction. His solution relies on the technical notion of evidential significance, which is meant to distinguish two ways that evidence may bear on a hypothesis: either via support or confirmation. As he puts his view in slogan form: “confirmation is support by significant evidence”. Once we make this distinction, Schramm claims, we see that Goodman’s famous riddle is dissolved, and we are no longer forced into the “intolerable result” that anything confirms anything. Schramm makes a number of incisive observations in his paper, but I do not think he has solved the New Riddle. There are two reasons for this. First, Schramm has an overly narrow conception of what the Riddle amounts to; I would venture to guess that it is narrower than that of most contemporary philosophers. Thus his proposal does not address the primary concern. Second, Schramm’s notion of significant evidence relies on a counterfactual condition that bears more than a passing resemblance to that made famous by Jackson in his paper on the topic. However, Jackson’s proposal faces several well-known counterexamples, some of which can be adapted into Schramm’s framework. Schramm’s solution thus inherits a number of outstanding problems from Jackson’s proposal, which he has not shown us how to handle
Keywords New Riddle of Induction  Grue  Counterfactuals
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-015-9733-2
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References found in this work BETA

Fact, Fiction and Forecast.NELSON GOODMAN - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Problems and Projects.Nelson Goodman - 1972 - Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.
Evidence, Hypothesis, and Grue.Alfred Schramm - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (3):571-591.
Goodman’s Problem and Scientific Methodology.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 100 (11):573 - 590.

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Citations of this work BETA

Bet Accepted: A Reply to Freitag.Christopher Dorst - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):175-183.

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Evidence, Hypothesis, and Grue.Alfred Schramm - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (3):571-591.
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Induction, Grue Emeralds and Lady Macbeth's Fallacy.Arthur Rubinstein - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 48 (190):37-49.
Goodman New Riddle is Pre-Humian+ New-Riddle-of-Induction.I. Hacking - 1993 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 47 (185):229-243.

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