Choice and Chance: An Introduction to Inductive Logic [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 20 (4):733-733 (1967)

An admirable introduction to inductive logic, this book is both informative and lucidly written. After an excellent introductory chapter comparing deductive with inductive logic, the author presents Hume's problem of induction and several proposed methods for solving or dissolving it, none of which are adequate. Chapter III is devoted to Goodman's paradox about "grue" and the problems it poses for induction. No attempt, however, is made to develop a calculus of projectibility, which is needed to solve this new riddle of induction. The systematic part of inductive logic is presented in the fourth and longest chapter. This chapter begins with a brief account of elementary truth functions which the author then uses to present an updated and rather elegant version of Mill's methods. The rest of the chapter is devoted to the development of the probability calculus in a systematic manner, without, however, any method of assigning initial probabilities. An account of statistics is appended, which is too brief to be of much value. The fifth chapter is devoted to interpretations of the probability calculus. The frequency interpretation of probability is described as an adequate account of descriptive probability. Two interpretations of inductive probability are presented: Carnap's "logic" interpretation and the frequency interpretation of Reichenbach. Both, however, are found lacking in ultimate justification. Though not flawless, this book is of very high quality.—F. S. M.
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