Colin Howson

in Hume's Problem

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780198250371
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597749 | DOI:

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Considers whether probability theory offers a way round Hume's argument, as has sometimes been contended. There are theorems of formal probability theory that appear to show that suitable evidence must increase the probability of the predicting theory, though when these theorems are examined they are all seen to have substantive assumptions, usually that some putative law has non‐zero prior probability. As such, they merely corroborate Hume's thesis that any inductive argument will contain explicitly or implicitly at least one inductive premise.

Keywords: grue; induction theorems; Karl Popper; prior probability; probabilism; probability theory

Chapter.  14134 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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