Authors
Francesco Pisano
Università degli Studi di Firenze
Abstract
The paper aims at outlining the conceptual frame in which nineteenth-century German philosophy inherits and pursues the British debate on induction. It investigates this debate as a case study for a broader inquiry about the German reception of late British empiricism. The Mill-Whewell controversy on induction is central to the late British empiricism´s project of a logic of natural sciences. It becomes significant in Germany during the second half of the nineteenth century, as a means of defining a theory of science that supports the rising anti-idealist endeavor. The paper first defines what is at stake in the Mill-Whewell controversy, then considers how the same issue is handled in Apelt´s Die Theorie der Induction (1854) and in Sigwart´s Logik (1873-1878). It concludes that, within the German context, the understanding of this issue cannot be disconnected from a Kantian focus on the transcendental foundation of scientific knowledge, and that this characteristic perspective on induction also implies some innovative developments for induction as a scientific method, mainly concerning the relevance and use of probability and statistics in inductive methods.
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