Some remarks on the rationality of induction

Synthese 85 (1):95 - 114 (1990)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper begins with a rigorous critique of David Stove''s recent bookThe Rationality of Induction. In it, Stove produced four different proofs to refute Hume''s sceptical thesis about induction. I show that Stove''s attempts to vindicate induction are unsuccessful. Three of his proofs refute theses that are not the sceptical thesis about induction at all. Stove''s fourth proof, which uses the sampling principle to justify one particular inductive inference, makes crucial use of an unstated assumption regarding randomness. Once this assumption is made explicit, Hume''s thesis once more survives.The refutation of Stove''s fourth proof leads to some observations which relate Goodman''s grue paradox with randomness of a sample. I formulate a generalized version of Goodman''s grue paradox, and argue that whenever a sample, no matter how large, is drawn from a predetermined smaller interval of a population that is distributed over a larger interval, any conclusion drawn about the characteristics of the population based on the observed characteristics of the sample is fatally vulnerable to the generalized grue paradox.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 77,712

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

99 (#129,829)

6 months
2 (#323,506)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?