Charles Sanders Peirce wrote the article “The probability of induction” in 1878. It was the fourth article of the series “Illustrations of the Logic of Science” which comprised a total of six articles. According to Peirce, to get a clear idea of the conception of probability, one has ‘to consider what real and sensible difference there is between one degree of probability and another.’ He endorsed what John Venn had called the ‘materialistic view’ of the subject, namely that probability is the proportion of times in which an occurrence of one kind is accompanied by an occurrence of another kind. On the other hand, Peirce recognized the existence of a different interpretation of probability, which was termed by Venn the ‘conceptualistic view’, namely the degree of belief that ought to be attached to a proposition. Peirce’s intent on writing this article seems to be to inquire about the claims of the conceptualists concerning the problem of induction. After reasoning on some examples, he concluded on the impossibility of assigning probability for induction. We show here that the arguments advanced in his article are not sufficient to support such conclusion. Peirce’s thoughts on the probability of induction surely may have influenced statisticians and research scientists of the 20th century in shaping data analysis.
Keywords Logic of science  Charles Sanders Peirce  Probability  Induction  Deduction  Abduction  Probability of induction  Logic  Probability theory  Reasoning
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DOI 10.1007/s00407-020-00256-x
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References found in this work BETA

How to Make Our Ideas Clear.C. S. Peirce - 1878 - Popular Science Monthly 12 (Jan.):286-302.
The Fixation of Belief.C. S. Peirce - 1877 - Popular Science Monthly 12 (1):1--15.
Essai philosophique sur les probabilités.Pierre-Simon Laplace & Maurice Solovine - 1814 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 30 (1):1-2.

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