Some Attempted Solutions

John Foster

in The Divine Lawmaker

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780199250592
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191600913 | DOI:
 Some Attempted Solutions

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There are various ways of trying to justify induction by appeal to certain a priori principles of probability. But all such appeals fail, either by being irrelevant to the issue or by begging the question. A seemingly more promising approach would be to take induction to be a basic form of sound reasoning, which, like deduction, does not stand in need of justification. I call this the simple view. But this view too can be shown to fail. For instance, consider a case in which we know that a regularity that has held in our experience so far has done so by mere coincidence (i.e. for no reason). Because we know that the regularity is just a coincidence, we know that we cannot rationally use it as a basis for predicting outcomes in the future. But this is not something that can be adequately accounted for if we accept the simple view.

Keywords: a priori; coincidence; induction; justification; predicting; probability; reasoning; regularity; simple view

Chapter.  9186 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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