Peter Millican
Oxford University
The word ‘induction’ is derived from Cicero’s ‘inductio’, itself a translation of Aristotle’s ‘epagôgê’. In its traditional sense this denotes the inference of general laws from particular instances, but within modern philosophy it has usually been understood in a related but broader sense, covering any non-demonstrative reasoning that is founded on experience. As such it encompasses reasoning from observed to unobserved, both inference of general laws and of further particular instances, but it excludes those cases of reasoning in which the conclusion is logically implied by the premises, such as induction by complete enumeration.
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