Alvin Plantinga

in Warrant and Proper Function

Published in print July 1993 | ISBN: 9780195078640
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199872213 | DOI:

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Broadly taken, the term “induction” denotes our whole nondeductive procedure of acquiring, maintaining, and discarding beliefs about what is so far unobserved or undetected or unknown. In this chapter, I examine induction from the perspective of my account of warrant. I first take up what is now referred to as “the old riddle of induction,” rejecting David Hume's claim that inductive reasoning is not rationally justified and defending the view that beliefs formed on the basis of inductive reasoning can have warrant. I then turn to Nelson Goodman's ruminations on grue and the “new riddle of induction,” which is the question: what makes a property projectible? I reject Goodman's own solution to this problem, examine other inadequate solutions, and then suggest that an answer can be found by making reference to the proper function of the human intellect; projectible properties are just those properties that a properly functioning adult human being in our circumstances will in fact project.

Keywords: Nelson Goodman; grue; Hume; induction; new riddle of induction; old riddle of induction; proper function; warrant

Chapter.  8780 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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