The Problem Of Induction, And Can It Be Solved?

Decent Essays
What is the problem of induction, and can it be solved?

In this essay, I will highlight the problems of induction and critically assess them – arguing that. "Inductive inference is not a way of reaching rationally justified conclusions; it is a leap in the dark" (Jones, 1969).

Inductive inferences are used throughout daily life, where we use past events to make predictions of future ones – moving from specific direct knowledge to general indirect knowledge. Inductive inferences are where the premises of an argument support or give good reason to accept the conclusion – but are not logically necessary like deductive inferences (where the negation results in contradiction). In my opinion, induction cannot be justified as it rests on several assumptions. Firstly, that an entire class of objects/events are the same and these will always act in a particular manner; and secondly, that the future will always resemble the past. This begs the question with it’s circular reasoning – because my use of induction has worked in the past it will work in the future. It uses an inductive argument to prove the validity of inductive arguments. To illustrate :

P1: I have boiled water at 100℃
P2: I have experienced the future resembling the past

C: All water will always reach boiling point at 100℃ in the future

Thirdly, it relies on the assumption that nature acts in a uniform manner, and through experience we know this not to be the case (Jackson, 2005). For example, someone might
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