A Constructivist Solution to the Problem of Induction

Dialogue 50 (1):95-115 (2011)

ABSTRACT: Ever since Hume raised the problem of induction, many philosophers have tried to solve this problem; however, there still is no solution that has won wide acceptance among philosophers. According to Wilfrid Sellars, the reason is mainly that these philosophers have tried to justify induction by theoretical reasoning rather than by practical reasoning. In this paper I offer a sort of Sellarsian proposal. On the basis of the instrumental principle and the constructivist view of the concept of epistemic justification, I argue that it is reasonable to accept induction. RÉSUMÉ: Depuis que Hume a soulevé le problème de l’induction, nombreux ont été les philosophes qui se sont attaqués à cette question. Aucun, pourtant, n’y a jusqu’à présent apporté de réponse satisfaisante et susceptible d’entraîner l’adhésion générale. Selon Wilfrid Sellars, la raison de cet échec est que les tentatives de justification se fondaient sur des raisonnements théoriques plutôt que pratiques. L’auteur offre ici une sorte de solution «sellarsienne» au problème. À partir du principe instrumental et de la conception constructiviste de la justification épistémique, l’auteur tente de démontrer qu’il est raisonnable d’accepter l’induction
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DOI 10.1017/s0012217311000138
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Theory of Knowledge.Keith Lehrer - 2000 - Westview Press.
Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes - 1651 - Harmondsworth, Penguin.

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