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What challenge does the problem of induction raise for the status of scientific knowledge Can the problem be solved - Essay Example

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What challenge does the problem of induction raise for the status of scientific knowledge Can the problem be solved

However strong, no inductive argument warrants certainty of its conclusion. David Hume held that no truth can be obtained about a theory regardless of how man tests of hypothesis passes. Hume assumed that an enumerative induction would exist if an inductive reasoning is consistent when it results into roughly true conclusions frequently. This paper explores the challenge that the problem of induction raises for the status of scientific knowledge and possible solution to the challenge. Formulation of the Problem of Induction For a quick formulation of the problem of induction, Born argues that “. . . no observation or experiment, however extended, can give more than a finite number of repetitions” (Bird & Ladyman 2012, pg. 31). Inductive argument is founded on numerous inferences based on different observations of an event. Each observation yields new conclusions. For example, based on a chain of observations that a man jogs to work at 6a.m on Friday, it appears justifiable to conclude that the man will jog to work next Friday, or generally, that the man jogs to work every Friday. The next Friday the man jogs to work does not provide evidence that the man usually jogs at 6a.m to work on Fridays, but simply add on to the number of observations made.
Inductive reasoning forms greater part of human reasoning. The problem of induction entails justification in inductive reasoning method....
Further, science is based on the principle of empiricism, which holds that only observation and experiment determines whether a scientific claim, law or theory, is accepted or rejected. The three principles above: Hume’s discovery of the impossibility to substantiate a law by observation or experimentation, the fact that science is founded on law and the principle of empiricism, appear to collide with each other. This clash is what amounts to the logical problem of induction (Bird & Ladyman 2012). David Hume’s problem of Induction David Hume’s argument first appeared in his great philosophical piece of publication, the Treatise of Human Nature, which he wrote in his twenties. Hume’s argument also surfaced a decade later, but more succinctly in An Inquiry into Human Understanding. In this piece of work, Hume referred to deductive reasoning as “reason” while “induction” meant inductive argument. In his argument, Hume clarified that no conclusion from observation or the future is deductive. Hume first meditates on the discovery of causal relationships on which “matters of fact” are founded. According to Hume, causal relations are never discovered by reason, but through induction. His reason is that for every particular cause, there are numerous effects, and the precise effect cannot be arrived at by interpretation of the cause. However, an individual must make observations on incidences of the causal relation in order to prove that the claim is true. One cannot prefer effects emerging out of one observation over the rest of observations. According to Hume, predictions can only be made inductively through earlier ...Show more


Induction concerns the process of reasoning on which people base their inferences about observations they make. The problem of induction relates to the philosophical inquiry into the possibility of inductive reasoning leading to understanding of classical philosophical logic…
Author : prunolfsson
What challenge does the problem of induction raise for the status of scientific knowledge Can the problem be solved essay example
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