The Problem of Induction: Is Induction an Acceptable Scientific Tool?

2005 Words9 Pages
Joseph Galluzzo Dr. Carl Simpson Pp226 The Problem of Induction: Is Induction an Acceptable Scientific Tool? Is induction an acceptable scientific tool? Why or why not? What is Hume's classic criticism of it? Ad what is the new problem of induction, introduced by Goodman? What are the implications of science of relying on a theory that itself is not scientifically provable? The principle of induction is to discern future truths based upon previously recognized phenomena. It relies heavily on assumptions regarding the state of nature, assumptions which if false, would result in a false belief being formed by the same process as true belief. In order to answer the question above, I will first explain Hume’s argument, then discuss the ‘New Riddle of Induction’ introduced to us by Nelson Goodman, and then conclude with my thoughts and establish why I believe induction has no place within the philosophy of science. Hume on the Problem of Induction David Hume presented us with the problem of induction in The Treaties of Human Nature. However, he never uses the term ‘induction’, instead he refers to the relation of ideas, matters of fact, and the relation between cause and effect. The relation of ideas simply refers to propositions whose content is confined to our concepts and ideas[1]; whereas propositions concerning matters of fact are those that go beyond the nature of our concepts and tell us something informative about how the actual world is.[2] In order for a proposition of the relation of ideas to be true, it must be provable by deduction. This is so because its negation will result in contradiction[3]. The same cannot be said about propositions regarding matters of fact. Take, for example, the proposition that the Burj Dubai tower is the tallest freestanding structure in the world. None of the concepts involved - a tower in

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