Tom Seaton

5)Explain and illustrate why there is problem concering the conclusions reached through inductive arguments, (15) Jan 2011 XM

The problem of induction is the philosophical question of if inductive reasoning leads to actual knowledge. It's primarily focus is on the lack of justification for(in induction): generalizing the class of an object based on a sample of observations of that object. The standard example of this inference is "all swans we have seen are white, and therefore all swans are white", before black swans were discovered. In order for a justification to be valid or rational it must be justified by a priori reasoning. Hume said that not even empirical evidence for something is never enough, because is it depends on "laws" of the past remaining the same in the future. Hume also said that there are 2 kinds of inquiry for humans, matters of fact and relation of ideas. An example of relation of ideas is assuming that a computer will turn on every time you push the ON button, but whether it will always turn on in the future when that button is pushed is truly unknown. Hume called this the Uniformity of Nature. An example of a matter of fact is that 1+1=2, and it always will be because it is a logical truth, independant of experience and observation. The Problem of induction questions and criticises every empircal claim ever made- because empirical claims(claims based on observation or experience rather than logic or theory) are reliant on patterns from the past remaining the same in the future.

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