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In the new riddle of induction, Swinburne proposes the idea that there is a genuine distinction to be made between the predicate 'green' and the predicate 'grue' in that 'green' is a qualitative predicate. I.e. to tell whether something is grue you must perform some test that involves looking at a clock or calendar.

This kind of test isn't necessary to see whether an object is green, whether or not it conducts electricity, whether or not it expands when heated etc...

I understand and agree that this is a genuine distinction to be made but what about the distinction gives us reason to prefer hypotheses which project qualitative predicates? Or, what about this distinction gives us reason to prefer hypotheses that project 'greenness' over 'grueness' ?

  • If we agree on the idea of Quine that every concept is part of a theory that gives "meaning" to that concept, the approach to "grue" is very simple: there are hundreds of thousands of year of "common sense " theories supporting green whule there is no reasonable one supporting grue. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 19 '18 at 11:43
  • @MauroALLEGRANZA Could you rephrase that? What do you mean by "every concept is part of a theory that gives "meaning" to that concept" ? – Joe Lee-Doktor May 19 '18 at 11:46
  • See Meaning Holism and Quinean Epistemology. – Mauro ALLEGRANZA May 19 '18 at 11:57
  • Obviously I haven't extensively read about meaning holism yet but, on the face of it, that seems obviously true. How does it then follow from the fact that previous theories have projected the predicate 'green' instead of other predicates like 'grue' that we ought prefer green projecting theories? It seems like you're using a fact about the history and use of our language to suppose a justification for a preference of a particular kind of hypothesis. – Joe Lee-Doktor May 19 '18 at 12:14

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