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Thread: The problem of induction, in a few words

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    The problem of induction, in a few words

    The problem of induction as a basis for knowledge is that new facts we discover may, and very often do, contradict our past inductive inferences.

    We are thereby forcibly led to accept, again and again and again, that we didn't know what we thought, and often vehemently asserted, that we knew.

    Thus, we can only inductively infer that we don't really know whether any of our many inductive inferences is any actual knowledge.

    Induction invalidates itself as actual knowledge.

    Anything we think we know on the basis of past experience and induction may turn out to be wrong.

    That seems enough as a serious problem.

    But it is only a problem for those who are trying to prove that they know something of the world on the basis of their experience of the world.

    Try to use "I believe that ..." instead of "I know that ..." and the problem will disappear.

    There is no problem of induction as a basis for our beliefs about the world.
    EB

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    The problem of induction is not the same thing as the problem of induction as a basis of knowledge. In analogy, there is no problem with hammers even if there is a problem using a hammer to saw a board. An inductive argument has a use, just as tool has a use, and though you can use an old broken television set as a prop to hold a door open, any ole use is not an original intended use. It’s been pointed out before (for instance) that an inductive argument not guaranteeing a conclusion does make inductive arguments defective or inferior to deductive one’s; they are different tools with different intended puposes.

    If you have qualms with an inductive argument not being a good basis for knowledge, that’s an issue that can be explored independent of any misthoughts that even should that be the case, it has no bearing on the quality of inductive arguments.

    The conclusion of a strong (oh, let’s say, very strong) inductive argument can stand good as justification to support a belief you hold. You’re still justified in claiming knowledge since the justification accompanies belief. You may know what you’re saying is true, and if you do, then you know what you’ve claimed. Is there room for error? Sure, but if the necessary conditions are met and there’s no Gettier hanky panky swirling about, then you can take the scaredy-cat route and limit your espousal to merely that of belief, or you can put your big boy pants on and stand under a shower of sprinkling courage and take the risk that YOU MIGHT NOT be right and say you know; after all, you can not with God-like certainty know that the truth claim is met, but the truth claim can nevertheless be met, and if it is, you have knowledge (except of course for those situations when you don’t).

    :-)

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Is it not enough to observe and measure? Why presume cause and effect?

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    The general difference between inductive abd deductive reasoning is the strating point.

    An accident occurs. One team starts at the skid marks in the road and follows evidence to the car. Another team starts at the car working backwards to the skids] marks. The general to the specific and the specific to the general.

    Both teams form a conclusion as to the cause of the accident.They nay or may not agree.

    The general evidence leading to the specific state of the car versus starting at the specific stae of the car working backwards to the general evidence.

    In real problem solving it is always a combination of the two.

    You walk into a room and find the body, a specific. You work backwards through clues and evidence to deduce the murderer. Specific to the general.

    You walk into a room finding it in disarray, blood on the floor, and a bloody knife. You conclude a murder or assault has occurred. General to the specific.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Deductive reasoning need not include observation. All that is necessary is expressed belief usually based, as the believer sayeth, on experience and logic. Experience obviously is deceptive with respect to belief, Something needs intervene to normalize sense belief.

    Whether intervention be instruments or many sensors the result is a better understanding of what is sensed unless, of course, what is measured is not reality or even material. Those aspects of the question must be set aside since there is no way one can come to a belief justified or otherwise since what is to be believed is not there.

    Objective reasoning, reason based on methodological observation and measurement. depends on observing material world accessible to sense and measurement. So if what is observed is not there then there is no observation. What remains is what is there. Inducting or building up by repeated observations and associations with other observations has lead to what we've accomplished since science became a method.

    Now with inductive methods, rather than grand mental masterbations from 'great' minds and thinkers as deemed sufficient by philosophers past, there is need to organize material evidence intervening between thought and theory.

    I argue that the proof of which methodology is better is in the accomplishments of man with the material world since the rise of scientific method compared with that of man before the method. Even there the material accomplishments of man can be traced to those who used inductive reasoning.

    If one insists that philosophy has made man's lot better, say, with constructs such as political systems or that religion has made man's life better with keeping alive the prospect of life after death or never ending life and conceit of belief I give youallofthewars between humans going back to their very origins. Which was carried out by combat between beliefs in this or that governing philosophy and this or that belief about those different or foreign.

    When you comeback just remember that whatever material accomplishment you point to a source you'll find there is a JT belief fuelling the engagement of testosterone driving them.

    Enjoy. Hope your speens burst.
    Last edited by fromderinside; 09-19-2019 at 06:48 PM.

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