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A Material Theory of Induction

Norton, JD (2003) A Material Theory of Induction. Philosophy of Science, 70 (4). 647 - 670. ISSN 0031-8248

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Contrary to formal theories of induction, I argue that there are no universal inductive inference schemas. The inductive inferences of science are grounded in matters of fact that hold only in particular domains, so that all inductive inference is local. Some are so localized as to defy familiar characterization. Since inductive inference schemas are underwritten by facts, we can assess and control the inductive risk taken in an induction by investigating the warrant for its underwriting facts. In learning more facts, we extend our inductive reach by supplying more localized inductive inference schemes. Since a material theory no longer separates the factual and schematic parts of an induction, it proves not to be vulnerable to Hume's problem of the justification of induction.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Norton, JDjdnorton@pitt.eduJDNORTON
Date: 1 January 2003
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Science
Volume: 70
Number: 4
Page Range: 647 - 670
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1086/378858
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History and Philosophy of Science
Refereed: No
ISSN: 0031-8248
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2009 17:51
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:56


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