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A Little Survey of Induction

Norton, John D. (2003) A Little Survey of Induction. In: Conference on Scientific Evidence, 11 April 2003 - 13 April 2003, Center for History and Philosophy of Science, Johns Hopkins University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

My purpose in this chapter is to survey some of the principal approaches to inductive inference in the philosophy of science literature. My first concern will be the general principles that underlie the many accounts of induction in this literature. When these accounts are considered in isolation, as is more commonly the case, it is easy to overlook that virtually all accounts depend on one of very few basic principles and that the proliferation of accounts can be understood as efforts to ameliorate the weaknesses of those few principles. In the earlier sections, I will lay out three inductive principles and the families of accounts of induction they engender. In later sections I will review standard problems in the philosophical literature that have supported some pessimism about induction and suggest that their import has been greatly overrated. In the final sections I will return to the proliferation of accounts of induction that frustrates efforts at a final codification. I will suggest that this proliferation appears troublesome only as long as we expect inductive inference to be subsumed under a single formal theory. If we adopt a material theory of induction in which individual inductions are licensed by particular facts that prevail only in local domains, then the proliferation is expected and not problematic.


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Details

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Norton, John D.jdnorton@pitt.eduJDNORTON
Date: April 2003
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: Conference on Scientific Evidence
Event Dates: 11 April 2003 - 13 April 2003
Event Type: Conference
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: induction, confirmation, probability, Bayesianism, abduction, hypothetico-deductive, evidence
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2009 17:52
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2017 05:11
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2684

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