Philosophy of Science - Essay Example

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Philosophy of Science

This is because, according to advocates of induction as the basis of science, one must begin an experiment and hypothesis formation by evaluating all available evidence before forming a hypothesis. Hempel points out that this is impossible, because all available evidence means everything that ever could be known about anything, and gaining that kind of knowledge before even starting an experiment is obviously impossible. Even if one weakens this statement to “one should gather all relevant evidence before forming a hypothesis,” logic still does not support this kind of induction, because this statement requires a hypothesis to determine relevancy. How can someone, without performing a wide variety of experiments, determine what is or is not relevant? So obviously using this kind of induction at all, according to Hempel, is not a good way to engage in scientific practice. He believes that people should be comfortable hypothesizing without evidence, since there is no way to avoid doing so anyways. Forming an hypothesis and then using deductive logic to prove or disprove it, using verifiable results, will not, according to Hempel, induce more bias, especially because it is more honest to the actual situation of real world science as practiced. ...Show more

Summary

Hempel argues that induction is used as a way to eliminate any bias that could be formed by forming opinions without evidence. He argues that scientists use induction because it is a way of generating results without having to hypothesize first, so that the hypothesis is based on data of some kind and not simply conjecture…
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