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The Leibniz-Carnap Program for Inductive Logic Author(s): Ian Hacking Source: The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 68, No. 19, Sixty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division (Oct. 7, 1971), pp. 597-610 Published by: Journal of Philosophy, Inc. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2025192 . Accessed: 17/04/2013 22:25

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This content downloaded from 132.248.56.165 on Wed, 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

He was the first to tryto axiomatizeprobabilityas an inferential science. Couturat.165 on Wed. P. Spring 1972). W. 1961). this issue.It employsa felicitousinventionof that century.56. Other abbreviations: S." American Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming.withLeibniz.He saw how a generalizedtheory of games should be the foundationformaking any quantitativedecision in situationswhere one must act on inconclusiveevidence. 1965). It is proper to pair Carnap. 1875-1890. This content downloaded from 132. et seq. The question also arises whetherinstrumental aids will be trulyadaptive in the long run or-because of their own imperfections or misuse by man-will only hasten extinction.248. " Uberblick uber die Studien von G.LEIBNIZ-CARNAP PROGRAM FOR INDUCTIVE LOGIC 597 peculiarities and limitationsof its own. Any modern theoryof knowledgemust take these various limitationsinto account. and Hildesheim: Olms.that inevitable culminationof any and all evolutionary processes. Darmstadt and Berlin 1923. Academy edition. the chiefarchitect of moderninductivelogic. 1 See L.They matterbecause Carnapian inductive logic could work only if somethinglike those assumptionswere right. Leibniz zur Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung. below.La Logique de Le'ibniz (Paris: Alcan. Far ahead of his time he thoughtthat probabilities are relationaland he insistedthatjudgmentsof probability are relativeto thedata available. December 28." Sudhoffs Archiv. the first philosopherof probability. Further matter on Leibniz on probabilityis presentedby Biermann and by Biermann and Faak.1 * To be presented in an APA symposiumon Carnap and Leibniz. cited as Cout."British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. but it applies it using assumptions we like to forget. for references. 1901. T- THE LEIBNIZ-CARNAP PROGRAM FOR INDUCTIVE LOGIC * HIS paperis aboutthepastand future of inductive logic. xx (1971): 209-229.S.LI (1967): 7985.S. pp. Wilson will be co-symposiast. W. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Leibniz (Berlin: Weidmann. 1971. Margaret D. see this JOURNAL. and Hildesheim: Olms. vi are so good that detailed bibliography is not needed here. cited as Bier. The referencesto Leibniz on probability in ch. namelyprobabilitytheory. For related historical studies that indicate Leibniz's interests see my: "The Logic of Pascal's Wager. Rockefeller University FLOYD RATLIFF Inductive logic is a fragmentof classical seventeenthcenturythought. "Jacques Bernoulli's Art of Conjecturing. Leibniz was the first to insistthat probabilitytheorycan servein a branch of logic comparable to the theory of deduction. 610-617. = Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: Samtliche Schriftenund Briefe.see K-R Biermann's survey. = Die Philosophischen Schriftenvon G.

This content downloaded from 132."Even probabilities and proof.S. is global: any body of evidenceconfers a probabilityon any proposition whatsoever.a some patternof betting ratesis positively incoherent. the The order is susceptibleof measure.The measure is autonomous.and characterizes objectively what a good reason is. and is cited as Equiposs.S. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . but only of finding not in general speakingof provingpropositions out which are most probable ex datis (P. Whatever we think of inductivelogic. Probabilitytheorywas firstintended not to hedge bets but to It was called the doctrineof chancesand calculate average payoffs. pp. given that you are already committed to some bettingrates on some options. inductivelogic is a ratheralien rationalism.and calculatingfrequencies. Leibniz's injunction.so we can consequently always are capable of estimation can be expected estimatewhich event under given circumstances with the highestprobability"(P. It lar classesof propositions. We smile at the naive optimism of a Leibniz who could prophesythat on completionof his men who disagree would pick up pencils Universal Characteristic Leibniz was exclaiming. (August 1971). applied to devices so made that each of a set of alternativeoutand especially "Equipossibility Theories of Probability. The tenetsof a programforinductivelogic are as follows. Bet-hedgingtells what bets are reasonable.There are good nondeductivereasons for believing. gives a unique fair rate for bettingon the truthof a proposition in the light of some inconclusiveevidence. independently of anyone's not local.165 on Wed. 200-201). holding for particuopinions. It began with Pascal's wager for adopting the pious way of life. It never and its mostmaturedescendantis perhaps decision theory. VII. vii.598 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY Leibniz attracts lls here not because of his pleasant aniticipations of modern commonplacesbut because he was the firstto believe in a formallogic of inductionthatis to be advanced by constructing artificial languages of unifiedscience. The measureis.Being a good reason can be representedby a relation between sentences of suitable languages.56." ibid. Or. p. but a cryfor inductivelogic. This last paper has a bibliography for all the old works on probability mentioned in the present essay. what is perhaps closer to the truth.248."calculate!" is not the cryof some alien rationalism. there are two acceptable ways to apply probabilitytheory:hedgingbets. moreover. 188).and the measure satisfies laws of probability. It advises only when forexample. pattern in which one accepts high odds both for and against logicallyequivalentpropositions.This relationcan be used to orderthe quality of reasons."Let us calculate!" and so end contention.

S. 'Proclivity'in the dictionaryis a synonymfor 'propensity'. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . on repeated trials. in law called purum.In contrast. One can bet about almost anything and ensure that one's personal betting rates are not incoherent. v. This has some historicinterest." Propensitiesare supposed to be objective propertiesof parts of the world. I shall show how Leibniz's original program forwhat he called "a new kind of logic" (P. the stock in trade of today'sinductivelogician.Leibniz thought beforehe knew the doctrineof chances. He proposed scales of proofand probability. As a youngman Leibniz wroteabout measuringdegreesof proofin courtsof law. so long as one can swallow a large number of characteristically Leibnizian theories. what is refutedby the evidence.with a stable relative freor quency. Since no such theoryis true.the objective doctrine of chances is local because it can be applied only to cases in which there is reason to think-perhaps because one deliberately used a random samplingdevice-that one has a chance set-upwithsome definite propensity to generatestable frequencies. 448) providesa way of achieving that end.His early about probability formal education was chiefly legal. A judge must assess responsibility in the light of the evidence presented.248.forwhat is proved.but bet-hedging cannot tell which bets are sensible. p.56.The lawyers have a This content downloaded from 132. The new kind of logic advocated by Leibniz has plain enough beginnings. whereas bethedging is global but subjective. and 1.Evidence.Otherstudents of the doctrineof chances thoughtin termsof the "relativeease" of achievingoutcomesin repeated trials.The earliest doctrine of chances inof probabilvolved what today is oftencalled a "propensity theory ity. Inductive logic would constitutea plausible program only if some theorylike Leibniz's were true.but my chief motive is critical.Leibniz was the only man of his time regularlyto insist thatprobability is alwaysrelativeto the evidence.LEIBNIZ-CARNAP PROGRAM FOR INDUCTIVE LOGIC 599 comes would occur. All calculations in the doctrine of chances and in modern parametric statistics are relative to some stochastic assumptions. It claims to be both global and objective. inductive logic is not plausible at all.and conditional probability seems not to be easily understoodin that context.165 on Wed.One spoke of the equal ease of makingvariousoutcomes. in law called nullum. of the proclivityof the outcomes. ranging between 0. Inductive logic tries to have it both ways. The doctrine of chances is objective but local. is primarily a legal concept.

is that Leibniz found a mathematics for his legal scales of proof and probability. although one ought to ask whetherthese "probabilities"are a calculus designed for games of chance probabilities. the "principle of indifference. VII. Leibniz has some discussion of this in 1669 (S. Legal scales of proof and probabilityinformedLeibniz that (1) the probabilityof propositionscan be measured between 0 and 1.I am convinced that there are some objective measures of evidential fromlaw courtsand whichare whichcan even be extracted support.6oo THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY seriesof names for the degreesof partial proof.248. nonnegative.Leibniz wanted to (cf.165 on Wed.e. What matters tailor-made to inductivelogic. 281). probability theory began. None of these three maxims need be exceptionable.. In thosedays the doctrineof chanceshad to reduce a problemto a "fundamental probability set" of equal chances.and (3) thisprobability is objective.That remarkable work concludes with the intimationsof probability theoryfrom Pascal." which Keynesrenamed ciple von Kries called "insufficient We can trace it back to Leibniz. but the calculus of probabilitieswas learned in Paris.S. generaltheory and so get a completely fractions substitute p. p. 522). It aims at physics principleof indifference.and normalizable. Like otherbranchesof Huygens' Leibniz masteredthis only afterhe went to Paris in mathematics.56.S.Every other worker had to make a leap of analogy fromreckoningat games of chance to calculatingevidentialsupport. The first peared some timebefore. He was well placed. We cannot dwell on this question now. He knew the Port Royal Logic beforethen. "Although I found some basis for it before I was even a novice in mathematics. vi/1.and had already printed something about it my twentiethyear. had apby Huygens.i. I have finallycome to see how blocked are the ways to it and how hard it would have been to open themwithout the aid of deeper mathematics"(P. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." who in a 1678 manuscriptcalled De incertiaestimationetried to This paper (pubdeduce the laws of probabilityfrommetaphysics.) is not a straightforward more than epistemology. (2) thisprobabilityis relativeto the evidence. not at once additive. assertionof the lished in full only by Bier. textbookon the doctrineof chances. 240). satisfy in which there are propensitiesto give stable frequencies.in 1657. Cout. the chances thatbetraythemselves being equal in respectof physicalsymmetries This content downloaded from 132. There is one old and notoriousway to turn scales of proof into mathematicalprobabilities: the prinreason. according to folklore. 1672. p. associating as he did with the Roannez circle in which.

just as we can derivelaws of addition and multiplicationin statics froma liberal interpretation of the principle of sufficient reason.as if it were an ancient truism.LEIBNIZ-CARNAP PROGRAM FOR INDUCTIVE LOGIC 6oi by stable relativefrequencies. p. It is.p.S. p. for not all disjoint sets about whose memberswe are equally (un)certainneed be setsof equal probability. Leibniz'suse of the principle of reasonhere follows acceptedseventeenth-century practice. 301. p. Leibniz liked to use Archimedesto illustratethis: the Greek invoked sufficient reason when foundingthe science of statics. Worse.The usually generous Couturat blasts this as an absolutelygratuitousa priori assumption.165 on Wed. he is De Witt's annuitybook going against the best published authority. 274). Oeuvrescomple'tesde Christian Huygens(lThe Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .S. He had studied de Witt's analysis with care and ample criticism(cf.xiv.56. Only much later would Leibniz assert. the square of 9 and such. we can do the same for probability theory. De incerti is doing physics. Leibniz assumes a uniformdeath rate over 81 years. Annuitiesfurnish an instructive example of his mode of thought. Hence probabilityis degree of certainty. Leibniz utterssome Pythagorean nonsense about 81 being an elegant number.2 The doctrineof chances must have a comparable basis. We have a fundamentalprobabilityset of alternatives such that the causes foreach occurring are equal in "weight. This does not entail the principle of indifference.cf. vx.we have as much reason to expect any one as any other one.. 227 f. The connection betweenthe principlein staticsand in probability has been notedin Cout. but then the rate increasesas vigordeclines.and it certainly looks like an inane application of the principleof indifference (Cout. of 1671 assignsa uniformdeath rate in the "yearsof vigor" up to 54. p. studying mortality data for Amsterdam(of which he was mayor) was sure that a uniform 2 P.248. This content downloaded from 132. 448). It is well knownhow Leibniz thought that physicswas an autonomous science. 1920). however. 18.our a-priorism that makes us think Leibniz was silly.but the inadequate distinctionbetweenreason and cause means it is doing epistemology too." givingequal weightto equal suppositions(P. A fundamentalprobability set (like two sides of a balance) is a set of cases such that thereis no cause or reason why one membershould occur more easily or frequently than another.n 4. With a nod to biblical lifespans. v.Moreover. Bier. that in probable reasoning the axiom is "aequalibus aequalia.yet that the fundamental laws of physics would findtheirjustification in finalcauses.). He knew that Hudde."Since the causes are equal in weight.Leibniz proceeds to calculate what does look worthless.Then.

actuallyconfirmed it." Far from being idiosyncratic." He is also the first to use 'possibility' fora quite different idea which. p.fortoday'slogician.Hudde's reasoninlgs have neverbeen published.even de Moivre's classic study on annuities (the best available well into the second half of the followingcentury) findsit convenientto adopt a uniformdistributionfor mortality. even Laplace uses 'possibility' to mean objective propensity. Leibniz here. although in his more philosophicalwritings Laplace professes to assignan epistemic use to 'possibility'. The "principle of indifference" confirmed by annuities is not epistemologicalbut causal. When Leibniz says. according to him.165 on Wed. in the face of empiricalevidencewhen he opted Leibniz did not fly for a uniformdistribution.He defined'necessarily 3 Cout.56.not to their true' as provable fromidentitiesin content.248.602 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY death rate up to 81 was the best possible fit. Leibniz used 'equally possible' to mean somethinglike "having an equal propensity to occur. in his most importantwork on the probability of causes. means internallyconsistent. This content downloaded from 132. Hudde's views can be inferred from de Witt's letters translated in The Assurance Magazine. that is. but the objective tendenIt is not we who are indifferent.becies towardmortality. Indeed."probability is degreeof possibility.but Leibniz saw the mayorseveraltimes in 1676." for is clear fromthe context that 'possibility'itselfis a synonym the ease of making an outcome.attaching to the form of sentences. and was sufficiently impressedthat he wanted to have Hudde's tables as an appendix to a new edition of Ars combinatoria. this usage was widespread.It remains a curious incident in the historyof which "ought" to have confutedtoo chance thatmortality statistics." Equiposs.Leibniz was the first modern to understandthat proof is a formal matter. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . readya use of a principleof insufficient reason. 241. most intelligible. n 4. 'Possible'.3 Moreover. describes the evolution of this terminology. and most mathematically tractable distributionthat conformsto the observations. It is easy to misunderstand cause he (incorrectly)told Bernoulli that de Witt employs the ''usual method" of calculating according to "equally possible In cases.has superseded every other. We assign equal probability to each potential year of death not because we are ignorant. for the physicalproperty we call "propensity"or "tendency to occur. in (1853): 93-120.but because we guess that death reaps smoothly and we check thisguess against statistics. He took the simplest. the early days of probabilitythe word 'possibility'did not mean the epistemic or subjective notion commonly associated with it Laplace.

Even for Leibniz such an intertwining of a special science and deepest metaphysics must seem bizarre. and in the next breath speaks of one thing being more possible than another.in proportion to its possibility. p. 438). The aeatability of the thingswill correspondto the degree of possibility in the divine mind.56. for consistency is not propensityto occur. so I am glad to find that Mahnke anticipatedmy interpretation.S. That. he remindsus. He inaugurated the theoryurged by Carnap: that necessityis analyticity.the probabilities.His theoryon the radical originationof things involvespossible objects striving forexistence." What is facile in re corresponds to what is probable in mente. I admit that I am playing down his other story. and probabilityis degree of possibility. of what is or appears the best among several equally possible things"(P.Somethingis easy or makeable if it is "verypossible. Experimentsshow what is more or less makeable "in the current state of the world. Leibniz's methodology of science alwaysmirrors his metaphysics. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . p." All earlywriters speak of the ease of making various outcomes.LEIBNIZ-CARNAP PROGRAM FOR INDUCTIVE LOGIC 603 a finite number of steps.In the esotericwritings we are invited to contemplateconsistent notionshaving more than mere internalconsistency: theyhave a positivedrive to come into being.then. Similarly. but nowhereis the isomorphism more striking than in the analysis of probability. In the esoteric writings we do not read so much of a God choosingamong internally consistentstate descriptions that which describes a most perfect world: God's role is to conceive the possibilities. are degrees of possibility. that is to say.248. in our world the objective propensities of different outcomesto occur are the foundationof our mental expectations. means "makeable. is freedom from contradiction. But in Leibniz's lists of definitions he regularlyexplains possibilityas freedomfrom contradiction.e.) Note the parallel to the metaphysics. 194).S.but for Leibniz ease of making goes with possibility. iv. and took This content downloaded from 132. or of the existenceof things." Leibniz's twinnednotions of possibilityare a deliberate part of his metaphysics. Possibility. which. vii. "The possible demands existenceby its verynature.For us it follows at once that there are two quite distinctconceptsof possibilityin question. In emphasizing thisaspect of Leibniz's thought. The more theyhave of this. His contemporariesand predecessorsall employ some terminology of the "facility"of gettingan outcome with a die.i.165 on Wed. (For references and furtherdiscussion cf.in which reality is determined by "the principle of contingency. Equiposs. as Leibniz had said.the more possible theyare. its degree of essence" (P.

But we will do it by yetanotheraspect of Leibniz's grandscheme. so all the possibilitiesthat we can distinguish will also have some propensity to be actual. then the probabilityof the hypothesis thatE occurson the next trial. p. Leibniz had learned fromthe law that probabilityis a relationbetweenhypotheses and evidence. From an exhaustiveset of simple ideas one would generateall possible complex ideas.4 We now returnto our starting point. Textbooks on probabilitynowadays oftenbegin with a chapter on combinationsand permutations.That he had probability theoryin mind. These are the basis of probabilitiesin mente. But not any set of ideas will be instructive.Leibniz's combination. We can apply the calculus of probabilitiesto these possibleworlds." Jahrbuch fur Philosophie und phdnomenologische Forschung. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . viI (1925): 305-611. is surelyp.248. It was directed not at probability theorybut at ideas. Everyonethought that the right ideas would be simple.On the one hand we have degreesof makeability in re.relativeto thisdata e.althoughunsatisfactory. an idea associatedwith Carnap's probability1.Even now no philosopher has satisfactorily combined these two discoveries. But that is only a small part of the story. This early monographon the theoryof combinationsconfirms his claim to have helped advance probability theory. Carnap's probability2. is more fascinating than most.604 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY the probability-possibility-facility-creatability nexus as a finalproof of theway thatLeibniz linkedontology and physics. if e assertsonly that in some chance set-upthe objective tendency is to produce outcomeE on repeated trials with stable relative frequency p. such a line of thought can be sound. The art of combinationswas already an established problem area. "Leibnizens Synthesevon Universalmathematikund Individualmetaphysik. For example. This content downloaded from 132.Inevitably we take Leibniz's youthfulArs combinatoria to be in the same line of business.165 on Wed. This is done formally as 4Dietrich Mahnke. whichwe may gloss as tendenciesto produce stable frequencies. In particular cases. But he learned fromthe doctrineof chances that probabilitiesare a matter of physical propensities. Leibniz appears to be inclined to say that this local piece of reasoninghas general application. One must have the right ideas. Justas the possible worlds in the mind of God vie with one another for creation. is proved by internal evidence and also by his proposal to publish Hudde's tables as an appendix. From any vocabularyof ideas we can build otherideas by formal combinationof signs. esp.56. 384.

Leibniz's better plans did not believe in lost innocence but rather in a science and a language that more and more closely correspondto the structure of the universe. Here I have in mind not greatfigures such as Descartesand Spinoza.e.248.but we will slowly correctthis. The art of combinations will enable us to compute all descriptions of possible worlds that can be expressedwith that stockof ideas. Much of Leibniz's intellectualpolitics is a part of this ferment. The Characteristic is supposed to enable us to computethe probabilities of disputed hypothesesrelative to the available data. Those dozens of programsfor universal grammar were motivatedby a belief thatif onlywe could uncoverin the collective wisdomof mankinda suitable set of ideas.Leibniz's predecessors were enrapturedwith the thoughtthat the world could be understoodfroma set of signs. His encyclopediaof unifiedscience would collect all presentknowledgeso we can sift throughit for we can what is fundamental. and this was the point of the art of combinations. It would encode the true ideas. formulatethe Universal Characteristic.which has recently been presentedas a key for understanding mind. And the possible worlds so describedwill all have some propensity to exist. then therewill be no finitelystateable a priori reason that would cause one possible world describable in our language to come to pass rather than another. His plans foracademies and scientific journals intendto coordinate knowledge so that we can discoverwhat are the true underlying ideas. and as we learn more our probabilityassignments will asymptotically tend to a maximum for the real world. was in those days a project for understanding all of nature.Universal grammar. thenwe would be able to unlock all the secretsof the universe. the possibility with the highestactual propensity. Many of his predecessors hoped to uncover an original language precedingBabel.LEIBNIZ-CARNAP PROGRAM FOR INDUCTIVE LOGIC 605 an operation on signs for the ideas.165 on Wed. If our Characteristic is foundedon simple ideas.. The prior distribution is applied not because our set is one among whose alternatives we are ignorant:it is a set such that by metaphysics we know each elementhas some propensity to exist. We thus have a set of alternativesconstituting a fundamentalprobabilityset to which we can apply a uniform priorprobability distribution. With the set of ideas that it generates. but that myriadof lesser intellectswhose pattern of thoughthas recentlybeen well set out in Michel Foucault's The Order of Things. i. The doctrine of chances applies not thanksto some epistemological principle of This content downloaded from 132. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .56. Relative to our finiteknowledgewe may be able to assign only a uniformdistributionover possibilities.

The problem of choice of initial measure function is present in what Leibniz proposes. but by grace of a metaphysicalascription of propensities. then.however. are now almost wholly repudiated.There is deductive a priori reasoning. Hence the Leibnizian might wish his prior probability assignmentsto conformnot to c* but to Harold Jeffreys' simplicitypostulate. I findthisaspect of Leibniz's thought farmore attractive than his faith in the global application of the doctrineof chances.and inductive a posteriorireasoning. And those parts which have their chief role in metaphysicsare peculiar to Leibniz.165 on Wed. A uniform priordistribution overstructure descriptions is just c*. It is a methodologicalconsequenceof the identity of indiscernibles. but only after Carnap can we understand it properly.S. a final flourishto the intellectual programs of a precedingera. 270-279). Ideas.248.Indeed. Secondly.S. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Leibniz would doubtlessnot agree to this dichotomy.much as the architectof the world might have done in choosing which possibility to create. Serious scientific methodologyis architectonic. conceived in Leibniz's own time and flourishing now as never before.it is pleasant to note that a Leibnizian ought to like Carnap's preferred c*. and cover the greatervarietyof phenomena (P. Nevertheless. Some partsof it. possibility. I. vii. there is the theoryof ideas. and chances create a matrixwithin which inductive logic could be conceived. Leibniz had an important theory of what he called "architectonic" reasoning.thereis a theory of possibility.First. originalwith Leibniz.6o6 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY indifference.The paradigm of this kind of reasoningis our preference for the principle of least time over Descartes'sexplanation of Snell's (purely inductive) law of refraction(P. Leibniz's new kind of logic is.They leave open technicalquestions that have vexed us recently. not probabilistic. a compound of three disparate elements. Finally. We favorhypotheses for theirsimplicity and explanatorypower. There is an alternative. pp. Structuredescriptionsare the finestpartitionsof possibility that produce descriptionsof states of affairsthat are distinguishable by the predicatesavailable to a monadic language.there is the doctrineof chances. needs the simplicitypostulate in order to get positive Jeffreys This content downloaded from 132.though the truismsof yesteryear. have become the truismsof our logicians.but there is a middle ground of central importance to science. 195).56. but the parts most pertinentto probability. he said that hypothesesare the more probable according as they are simpler.

The merestresume of the awful problem about ideas will have to suffice here.LEIBNIZ-CARNAP PROGRAM FOR INDUCTIVE LOGIC 607 but his is a purelyepistermoprobabilitiesforlaw-likepropositions. in contrast.high probabilities derived from a simplicitypostulate are groundedon a metaphysical ascriptionof propensities. two are unacceptable. It is not a new point: C.56. This approach providesa quite general way of ignoring all problemsabout natural kinds. One mightsay that Goodman reminded us of the old riddle of induction. and it is a topic in the Port Royal Logic. Simplicity of coveringlaws and varietyof phenomena are the twin measures of perfectionfor possible worlds.248. logical thesis for which only pragmaticreasons have been given. Critics of Carnap have not been of inductivelogic. like the logicians at Port Royal. Leibniz mightbe contentto have inductivelogic relativeto a set of ideas coded in a language. possibility. The gist of Carnap's programis so well known that I have spent this paper on reconstructing Leibniz rather than recalling what Carnap did in recent years.but to the language in which hypotheses our dence are expressed.it is one more pleasant consequence of metaphysics. the antique progenitor and chance: of the provides us with a critique. D. Inductive logic becomes selfconsciously triadic. If one does not mind what Russell feltto be "the undulypracticalnatureof Leibniz's philosophy.and we should be as conveniently use them until we have a better physicsor discover kinds that handle our present physicsbetter. was explicitlylooking for criteriaof sortinggood ideas frombad ones.165 on Wed. tryto do inductions with whateverkinds at presentseem natural. also lacking. so long as it is the best language available. Hence laws with those featureswill have a greaterobjective tendencyto realitythan cumbersomeor restricted principles.which for some time was superseded by the new problem that arose when Hume challenged the doctrine of necessaryconnection. This is Mary Hesse's solution to the Goodman paradoxes: only our presentkinds can fittedinto our presentphysics. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Nelson Goodman has taught us how an inductivelogic cruciallydepends on our having the rightideas." one should. for it has had much recent discussion.As in our earlier discussion. For Leibniz.This was familiarin the sixteenth century.but Leibniz. Broad insisted in 1921 that all induction has to be relative to a set of when one natural kinds.Leibniz was confident that science would This content downloaded from 132. Inductive probabilities are relative not just and evito the evidence. Ideas. triad of notions that gave him his new kind of logic.

not as a specifictenet of at least as a part of his view of the world. But this gives us no objective measure of the probabilityof propositionsin the light of data.a student If possibleworldsdo not have some propensity of Carnap can only hope that bet-hedging will justifythe use of a probabilitycalculus. if can that A Leibniz have expectation. would one go some distance toward of chances. We are enmetaphysics. So he thought that the best language for currentscience would more and more closelyapproximatea divine language which offers the descriptionsof all possible worlds. man's riddlesrefute Even if some magic could assure us that we had the rightsigns. So. Only if one were prepared to postulate. alternatives hedge bets. Today.56. I am tentatively presentargumentassentingto Paul Feyerabend'sthesisthat Goodinduction.forwe lack Leibniz's reason to think that our language is a better inductive guide to the future than Goodman's. forone can findcoherentsystems of bettingrates that give any arbitrary probabilityto any proposition in the light of any inconclusivedata. applyingthedoctrine to occur. suited to the past but irrelevantto the future. with Leibniz. for any distortions would be asymptotrent edition of the Universal Characteristic ically smoothed out. That reasonable be founded on induction. in coherence. of course. language). With such expectations there is nothing foolish in computingprobabilitiesrelative resultingfrom any curto our best language. Carnap had faith in our gradually developing formalizable intuitions which would sort out rational from for the irrational bets: inductive logic then becomes bet-hedging This content downloaded from 132. expectationcannot. How are we entitledto apply probabilitytheoryto the set of offered by some favoredset of signs?We can. It is sensible to compute inductiveprobabilitiesrelative to a language only if thereis a reasonable expectationthat the categoriesof that language will fit the future as well as the past. that every possible world has some propensityto occur. we cannot be entitledto use thatas any guide in life.to make other bets on other possibilities. We can say that if we place bets on some possibilities we are bound. we are less sanguine.165 on Wed.6o8 THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY more and more closelyapproximatea true descriptionof the universe. evidence. I am not contending that Goodman's and for the sake of language is as good as ours. without circularity. remindsus of another probthe Leibnizian doctrineof possibility lem. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . titledto no such view of the world.248. althoughwe may compute some Probability (hypothesis. The inductive skeptic proposes that our present natural kinds are the merest accidents.

it tried to be both objective and global. J.LEIBNIZ-CARNAP PROGRAM FOR INDUCTIVE LOGIC 609 rational man. everyindividual has as good a chance of selection as any other. p. insofar as it is logic and not just betting. We can also hedge bets about almostanything. Keynes' view. This is called "multinomial sampling." in Logic Methodology and Philosophy of Science.as F. This is a thoroughly the art regressive step. This content downloaded from 132. 276."8Such talk of "opportunity"can be readily found in the old seventeenth-centurydoctrineof chances. E. Originallyhe hoped thatinductivelogic would finda natural place in the logical syntax of language. The continuumof inductivemethodsis appropriateto samplingfroma population of unknown size in which. Hintikka says. 1965). we virtuallynever engage in such sampling.But. or the ease of making certain outcomes. which is the obvious one that therereally do not seem to be any such thingsas the probabilityrelationshe describes". "Truth and Probability. Occasionally inductivelogiciansgive themselves away. Speakingof a situationin which individuals of certain kinds have never been noticed." in The Foundations of Mathematics and other Logical Essays (London: Kegan Paul. Moore's "intuitions"of goodness). Ramsey." subject to the that our predictionsabout particularindividualsshould constraint be independentof the size of the population. for.165 on Wed. there is a "fundamentalcriticismof Mr. Proceedings of the 1964 Congress (Amsterdam:North-Holland. That is. P.Otherwise. of inductivelogic have a as I. 161. Good has noted.We can deliberately construct experimental devices in which we practicemultinomialsampling. But the later work.248. 6 Jaakko Hintikka. 1931). We can draw objective conclusionsabout what is probable only relative to some assumptions about propensities. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . we can have objective probabilities relative to data of a veryspecial kind. "Towards a Theory of Inductive Generalization.5 Ramsey says that neither he nor others ever perceive such relations. Carnap's systems perfectly straightforward application once we have positiveknowledge about the propensitiesof some possible statesof affairs. That is.but thereit was alwaysrestricted to situations in which one knew something about the opportunity of various outcomes to occur.56. Inductivelogic triedto combinebet-hedging and the doctrineof chances. P. It is completelyunwarrantedfor a systemof logic supposed to apply to all knowledge. p.has to rely on a Keynesian faith in "intuitions"of probability(in turn modeled on G. It can plausibly do that only if some assumptionslike 5 F. "there have been plenty of opportunitiesfor the remaining kinds of individuals to prove that theyare not empty.regardlessof the size of the population. Ramsey wrotewhen recreating of bet-hedging.

" at the 4th International forLogic.56.pp.December R USSELL began to findLeibniz's "fairytale" metaphysics ductive Logic. "The Camnap-LeibnizProgram for In- This content downloaded from 132. I believe. 597-610. and instead produce analyses of objective inconclusive good reasons that fit particular cases. Russell argued plausibly that errorsand limitationsof Leibniz's were tied to an indefensibleunwillingnessto countemetaphysics nance nonmonadic predicatesin his logic. 28. thisissue.Bucharest.The Leibnizian error lies not in founding inductive logic on propensitiesbut in extending it to propensitiesbeyond our ken. 17 Apr 2013 22:25:58 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . In a sense. PROPENSITY. for he dismissesit with a wave of the 7 This theme is developed in mycontribution to thesymposium on "Probability as a Dispositional Property.will be foundedon the kindsof propensity first investigated in theseventeenth century. I thinkCarnap was wrongto give up trying for an inductive logic foundedon propensities-in thisregardhis contemporary Hans Reichenbach had a better program. commentingon Ian Hacking. All.165 on Wed. 1971. Congress Methodologv and Philosophv of Science.It is practiced by statisticians. Hence it had some plausibilityin the past.6io THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY Leibniz's can be made. Objective local inductivelogic is alreadya reality.It is possible because there are some objective propensitiesto give stable frequenciesand because by using sampling techniques we can devise many more that help us with inferences. Non-Leibnizians who care about inductivelogic must turn away fromthe magic of signs and the mythsof possibility. * To be presented in an APA symposium on Carnap and Leibniz. He claims that Leibniz's views on probabilitylogic reflect and partlydepend on the ontological thesisthatpossible entitiesstrivewith one anotherforexistence.Mr Hacking reversesthe line of Russell's critique.this thesisdid lead to challenging results when employed as a critical implement. As a global discipline.it has no future.7 IAN HACKING CambridgeUniversity POSSIBILITY." Whatever its meritsas intellectualbiography. 1971."thisJOURNAL. Evidently Hacking does not regardtheDaseinstrebendoctrine as in any degree credible. AND CHANCE: SOME DOUBTS ABOUT THE HACKING THESIS * comprehensiblewhen he discovered-or thought he discovered-that it had been derived fromLeibniz's "logic.248.

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