Questions tagged [induction]

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14
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10answers
9k views

What fallacy is assuming something is the case because of past events

I'm sure this is a simple question. What I am referring to is disbelieving someone on Day 20 because they have lied every day previous to Day 20. Another example is the boy who cried wolf. The 50th ...
11
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2answers
1k views

What's the relevance of falsifiability in regards to logical arguments?

Is it reasonable to classify logical propositions that rely on deduction and are non-falsifiable as being inherently not worthy pursuing or does this just applies to inductive reasoning?
11
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6answers
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Does Karl Popper's work address the Principle of Uniformity of Nature?

It seems to me that Popper's solution does not address the more difficult problem of induction that Hume calls the Principle of Uniformity of Nature. In other words, we might find evidence against a ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Are “if smoke then fire” arguments deductive or inductive?

I'm new to philosophy and have a question regarding deductive vs. inductive reasoning: I'm told that "John ate a strange plant in the forest and got sick. Clearly, the plant made John sick." I ...
10
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4answers
507 views

What are the critiques of the “we might as well assume it” solution to the problem of induction?

I'm curious whether the following proposed solution to the problem of induction has ever been discussed in the literature: Either the future resembles the past or it does not resemble the past. If it ...
10
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2answers
3k views

What did Wittgenstein mean by saying that the belief in the causal nexus is a superstition?

In the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittenstein says: 5.1361 The events of the future cannot be inferred from those of the present. Superstition is the belief in the causal nexus. I'm ...
9
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2answers
685 views

Is there a deduction analog to the problem of induction?

Aren't deductive and inductive reasoning equally unjustified? So, inductive reasoning is going from specifics to general, whilst deductive reasoning is going from general to specific. But in deductive ...
8
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7answers
4k views

How can I know that I am not immortal? [closed]

You think that you will die just because everyone dies. And you would like to know if you are immortal. How can you know if you are immortal or not?
8
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7answers
1k views

Why do we need a reason for believing that inductive method is necessarily true?

I've been a bit perplexed about the "problem" of induction. Hume challenges other philosophers to come up with a deductive reason for the inductive connection. If the justification of induction ...
8
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7answers
2k views

How does induction relate to falsifiability?

I was thinking about the question How can I know that I am not immortal? and started wondering about the relation between induction and falsifiability. Regarding the cited question, one thinks: well, ...
8
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5answers
6k views

Is Popper's Solution to the Problem of Induction still valid?

Popper (negativly) solved the problem of induction by showing that there is no class of sentences (analytic/synthetic, a priori/a posteriori) in which a principle of induction can be phrased without ...
7
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2answers
316 views

Recursive definitions. Am I sane?

"The difference between me and a madman is the madman thinks that he is sane. I know that I am mad." ~ Salvador Dalí There are many terms defined in a recursive manner, e.g.: A person A is sane if ...
7
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5answers
189 views

Is this a fallacy: no argument against X, therefore X?

Recently I was talking to a friend of mine, a vegan. Here's what she said: "I was talking to a vegan philosopher once, and he said that he is a vegan because there is no good argument against veganism"...
7
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4answers
327 views

Is actual infinity physical infinity? Or just the axiom of infinity?

I've always been a little confused on this point. My (second-hand) understanding of Aristotle's difference between potential and actual infinity is this: We all have an intuition of the counting ...
6
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2answers
202 views

Bayesian statistics versus inductive skepticism

This is a question replicated here as advised by the statisticians' StackExchanged - see also https://stats.stackexchange.com/questions/178857/bayesians-positions-on-inductive-skepticism Philosopher ...
6
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3answers
109 views

How applicable is the problem with induction to real life?

I am an engineer and know nothing about philosophy, my friend is an economist who argues that the problem with induction invalidates all predictions based on induction. I can understand this on a ...
6
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1answer
209 views

Do Hume’s Problem and Zeno’s Arrow Paradox have the same solution?

Both Hume’s Problem and Zeno’s Arrow Paradox freeze an observation in time. Do they have the same solution? To show that the future may not be predicted from the past, the test that David Hume ...
5
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5answers
7k views

Why is argument by analogy invalid?

There is a well known fallacy called the "argument by analogy" fallacy. As I understand it, the fallacy occurs in a situation where someone makes a reasonable comparison between two situations and ...
5
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2answers
2k views

How can a false premise still produce a Strong Inductive Argument?

For brevity, I abbreviate: FP = False Premise, SIA = Strong Inductive Argument. Source: A Concise Introduction to Logic (12 Ed, 2014) by Patrick J. Hurley [p 46:] These four examples show that ...
5
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1answer
562 views

Why can't uniformity of nature (in principle) be proven deductively?

I've been reading about the problem of induction and I have trouble understanding the argument for nature's uniformity being impossible to prove deductively. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on ...
5
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2answers
617 views

How does abstraction/generalization in mathematics fit into inductive reasoning?

I have a question about the nature of generalization and abstraction. Human reasoning is commonly split up into two categories: deductive and inductive reasoning. Are all instances of generalization ...
4
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6answers
495 views

What is the fallacy in this inductive argument for an infinite number of cities?

Think of a city, say the capital of Germany, Berlin. Now I can easily come up with another city, like San Fransisco. Now with two cities in mind, I can still come up with another city (Stockholm, for ...
4
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5answers
529 views

Is Goodman's new riddle of induction a restatement of Hume's problem of induction?

I was reading Goodman's [Facts, fictions and forecasts] and was confused by the new riddle of induction. I don't really see what's new about it, it seems to me like a restatement of Hume's problem ...
4
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3answers
204 views

Can all inductive arguments be written as deductive arguments?

Whenever I see inductive arguments being used, it seems as though they can be redone by simply making certain assumptions and rephrasing the argument as a deduction from those assumptions. For ...
4
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3answers
145 views

On the circularity of induction

Hume's problem of induction is that any attempt to justify induction would lead to a circular argument. Can someone give an example to illustrate this and maybe explain the problem more?
4
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4answers
91 views

How does a mechanism reduce 'the number of independent assumptions we need to make'?

The book only italicised; I added the majuscules. Source: pp 226-227, Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy (1 ed, 1999) by Simon Blackburn  [...] As with Boyle's law, we can say that ...
4
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5answers
201 views

Questioning determinism (example)

Questioning the world's deterministic behaviour, I shall present an example which seems to defy any certainty about the recurrence of events and is (obviously) a result of faulty logic, but I would ...
4
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3answers
238 views

What are the Consequences of Rejecting Induction?

It seems to me that the rejection of the validity of induction would cause a deep skepticism in pretty much everything but most prominently in perception. If we can never assume uniformity of nature, ...
4
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3answers
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Propositional Logic: How to prove the contraposition in the Fitch system?

Given that: p ⇒ q prove that: ¬q ⇒ ¬p using the Fitch system. (This being the proof of the Contraposition)
4
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1answer
907 views

What is the difference between the old problem of induction and Goodman's new problem of induction?

I just do not understand how he claims to have defeated the old problem.
4
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1answer
265 views

Isnt induction just deduction with an implicit premise?

I have a problem with the distinction between induction and deduction. To me it does not make sense to talk about induction at all. People argue that the following is induction: A_1 is x A_2 is x ...
4
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2answers
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Inductive reasoning and justification

Most people agree that knowing something one acquired from inductive reasoning is knowledge, that is justified true belief. For example we observed for years, that Sun rises from the East, we still ...
4
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1answer
199 views

How does a Bayesian respond to the Grue-hypothesis?

According to Bayesian inference/confirmation theory, your confidence in a hypothesis increases as you observe more and more evidence predicted by that hypothesis (according to bayes theorem and the ...
3
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2answers
493 views

Does Popper's falsification view of the problem of induction have any implications for the NEW riddle of induction?

Popper claims to solve Hume's problem of induction by explaining that science does not use induction at all, but rather science can be described by the process of putting forward hypotheses and then ...
3
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3answers
960 views

Inductive and deductive arguments and mathematical induction

I started reading Paul Teller's A Modern Formal Logic Primer. In the first chapter, the book presents the inductive and deductive arguments with the following examples: The inductive argument: ...
3
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3answers
76 views

What aspects of the problem of induction are simplified if you employ the B-theory of time?

What aspects of the problem of induction are simplified if you consider the problem using the B-theory of time? A rough idea why this might be relevant: First consider an urn with a finite number of ...
3
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7answers
13k views

What is the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning?

I have been scouring over the internet in pursuit of a valid elaboration as to the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning, especially when explained using examples. The content that has ...
3
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3answers
2k views

What must nature's uniformity be like in order for scientific induction to be (non-deductively) valid?

I was thinking about one of the points made about induction, that it assumes that nature is uniform. So this leads me to the question about what this uniformity must be like in order for induction to ...
3
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4answers
871 views

How did Aristotle define induction so incorrectly?

From: Philip Johnson-Laird BA PhD Psychology (UCL), Stuart Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton. (Author isn't a logician.) How We Reason (1st edn 2008). p. 431, for Ch. 1. The ...
3
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1answer
188 views

Kant's Solution to Uniformity of Nature

I am aware that Kant addressed Hume's skepticism on causality, but I don't see anything in his CPR that solves the problems of induction and uniformity of nature in other contexts like everyday life, ...
3
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2answers
699 views

How do abduction and induction relate?

Is abduction a species of induction? Can we abduce what we could never know by induction? And has anyone tried to enumerate what we can know by induction?
3
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3answers
167 views

Hume's problem of induction

Hume argued that assuming A causes B isn't the same as arriving at a truth of logic. However, even though Hume cautioned the "the mental habit" of induction should be used carefully he still believed ...
3
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1answer
225 views

What is the name of the fallacy that denies inductive generalization based on emphasizing exceptions?

I am looking for the name of a logical fallacy that denies validity of induction based on an observed and repeated pattern (AKA statistics) by citing exceptions to the pattern which are outliers of ...
3
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1answer
179 views

Why is “similarity” not a logical relation? (from “Natural Kinds” by Quine)

I have two questions regarding Quine's paper “Natural Kinds”: Why isn't similarity a logical relation? Why is our ability to recognize similarity so fundamental? These two things are explained in ...
3
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3answers
174 views

New riddle of induction; does the observer know the arbitrary time t?

Wikipedia, in "New riddle of induction", sets out Nelson Goodman's paradox as follows: Goodman defined grue relative to an arbitrary but fixed time t as follows: An object is grue if and only if ...
2
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6answers
738 views

Has the Problem of Induction been solved?

The problem as to acquiring knowledge about times where we cannot experiment/observe. For e.g, you haven't seen the future, so you cannot make any definitive statements, or rather, scientifically ...
2
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3answers
122 views

What's wrong with the following argument regarding temporal limits?

Let us suppose there is a limit: you cannot buy something after 10:00PM. From the position of law, of course "cannot" must be taken directly. But from the position of common thinking, people are less ...
2
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1answer
480 views

Is this an inductive or a deductive argument?

Two flowers of the same cultivar were planted in adjacent plots . The first was fertilized with Miracle-Gro and it flourished (2); The second was not and it din't(3) . Therefore , Miracle-Gro ...
2
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3answers
425 views

Argument against democracy/socialism as an ethical system [closed]

If n=4 people showed up and told you, "we're going to take our combined wages and vote about what to do with half of it", most people would consider it theft at best. Even in theory, I can't imagine ...
2
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1answer
220 views

Problem of induction without i.i.d

In this paper of Aaronson's, a proof is given of Occam's razor by appealing to PAC learning. My understanding of Valiant's bounds for PAC learners is that it requires i.i.d. This is often a ...