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The Problem of Induction by David Hume
Pages 7 (1757 words)
3/23/2012 The Humean Problem of Induction The problem of induction as presented by David Hume is strong, and is a huge obstacle to positive scientific and philosophical enquiries. When understood fully, the argument seems to undermine any attempt at gaining knowledge, or avoiding radical skepticism, which would level any justification for belief.
I however, do not believe this response is an argument, and the problem of Induction maintains it’s force as a theoretically worry to serious philosophers. Furthermore Hume offers a solution to theoretical skepticism by distinguishing between the type of skepticism inquired about by philosophers, and the skepticism you should engage in in everyday life. In other words, Hume admits this problem is theoretically unanswerable, but practically speaking, is unlivable. By making this distinction, I believe that Hume makes the skeptical problem of induction less worrisome, while preserving its theoretical significance. Before going into any solutions Hume provides, we should first explain the basics of Hume’s argument from induction. The conclusion of Hume’s argument about the limitations of inductive reasoning, is that we have no basis to conclude that the future will resemble the past. The idea of cause and effect is not grounded in experience, because we cannot see cause and effect. For example, Hume points out that we cannot conclude that fire causes burns simply from putting our hand in the fire and noticing that it burns. ...
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