Philosophical Studies 162 (2):319-332 (2013)

Abstract
Many necessitarians about cause and law (Armstrong 1983; Mumford 2004; Bird 2007) have argued that Humeans are unable to justify their inductive inferences, as Humean laws are nothing but the sum of their instances. In this paper I argue against these necessitarian claims. I show that Armstrong is committed to the explanatory value of Humean laws (in the form of universally quantified statements), and that contra Armstrong, brute regularities often do have genuine explanatory value. I finish with a Humean attempt at a probabilistic justification of induction, but this fails due to its assumption that the proportionality syllogism is justified. Although this attempt fails, I nonetheless show that the Humean is at least as justified in reasoning inductively as Armstrong.
Keywords Humeanism  Regularity theory  Laws of nature  Problem of induction  Explanation  Hume  Armstrong  Law of large numbers
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9767-5
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References found in this work BETA

Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.
Nature’s Metaphysics.Alexander Bird - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Scientific Essentialism.Brian Ellis - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1993 - Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

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Citations of this work BETA

Natural Properties, Necessary Connections, and the Problem of Induction.Tyler Hildebrand - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:668-689.
Scientific Practice and Necessary Connections.Andreas Hüttemann - 2014 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 29 (1):29-39.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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