This is my quiz problem, in particular on "Hume's argument against the justifiability of induction". I was supposed to do True and False.

  1. That every inference is either inductive or deductive.

  2. That no inductive inference rule can be justified.

  3. That the justification of a given inference rule itself consists of an inference from true premises.

  4. That inductive inferences are unscientific and should be avoided.

  5. That a given inductive inference rule cannot be justified deductively

I answered 3rd one as True and rest False. Am I wrong?

  • If 1 is False, according to you, what other type of inference are allowed by Hume ? Aug 26, 2019 at 9:57
  • @MauroALLEGRANZA Thank you for your question. My background is electrical engineering. So, my apologies if I ask stupid questions and clarification in this philosophy of science related. Now, if I think about 1 and also pondering over the answer from Bumble, it seems that I was wrong (but uncommon now...).
    – user550103
    Aug 26, 2019 at 15:01

1 Answer 1


It would help if you were to clarify whether you are being asked what Hume's position was, or what you think about Hume's argument. Assuming the former:

  1. In Hume's day, it was common to use the word 'inductive' as complementary to deductive, making 1 true. This is no longer common, however. Abductive inference, for example, is neither, although some philosophers hold that inductive reasoning is a species of abductive.

  2. True. More specifically, Hume maintains that an inductive inference cannot be justified in a non-circular way.

  3. For Hume, false, since there is no sound way to justify an inference rule.

  4. Pretty sure Hume does not say this. Hume is giving a naturalistic explanation of human reasoning; he is not trying to say we should not reason inductively, only that the explanation of why we do lies in our understanding of human nature, not in logic.

  5. True. Again, not without circularity.

  • Thank you Bumble for your answers. I am trying to learn this philosophy of course, but it seems that I am really stupid. Evidently, my answer was wrong it seems... :( . I will think more about your answers and learn from that. Thank you so much.
    – user550103
    Aug 26, 2019 at 15:03

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