Scientific reasoning and the summum bonum

Philosophy of Science 27 (1):48-57 (1960)
C. S. Peirce argued that inductive reasoning and probability judgments are adequately secure only in the indefinitely long run, and that therefore it is illogical to employ these modes of inference unless one's chief devotion is to the interests of an ideal community of all rational beings, past, present, and future. He thought of this devotion as a "social sentiment", involving self-sacrifice. An examination of his argument shows that the attitude presupposed by his conceptions of induction and probability is in fact not self-sacrificial and is social only in a very special sense. Furthermore, it seems doubtful that this attitude is characteristic of practicing scientists; and this is a reason for questioning Peirce's analysis of induction and probability
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DOI 10.1086/287712
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