Inductive systematization: Definition and a critical survey

Synthese 25 (1-2):25 - 81 (1972)
In 1958, to refute the argument known as the theoretician's dilemma, Hempel suggested that theoretical terms might be logically indispensable for inductive systematization of observational statements. This thesis, in some form or another, has later been supported by Scheffler, Lehrer, and Tuomela, and opposed by Bohnert, Hooker, Stegmüller, and Cornman. In this paper, a critical survey of this discussion is given. Several different putative definitions of the crucial notion inductive systematization achieved by a theory are discussed by reference to the properties of inductive inference. The consequences of the following differences between deductive and inductive inference are emphasized: the lack of simple transitivity properties (even in a modified sense) of inductive inference, and the failure of the inductive analogue of the converse of The Deduction Theorem. The main conclusions are: (i) Hempel's original thesis may very well be right but his argument for it is unsatisfactory, (ii) theoretical terms can be logically indispensable for a non-Hempelian kind of inductive systematization, relative to both Craigian and Ramseyan elimination, (iii) Lehrer's attempt to prove the indispensability of theoretical terms for inductive-probabilistic systematization is, as a modification of Hempelian kind of inductive-deterministic systematization, unsatisfactory, and (iv) there does not seem to be much hope of escaping the conclusion (ii), if it is true, by extending the Craigian replacement programme along the lines suggested by Cornman.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00484998
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