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A Material Theory of Induction

Norton, John D. (2003) A Material Theory of Induction. [Preprint]

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      Contrary to formal theories of induction, I argue that there are no universal inductive inference schemas. The inductive inferences of science are grounded in matters of fact that hold only in particular domains, so that <I>all inductive inference is local</I>. Some are so localized as to defy familiar characterization. Since inductive inference schemas are underwritten by facts, we can assess and control the inductive risk taken in an induction by investigating the warrant for its underwriting facts. In learning more facts, we extend our inductive reach by supplying more localized inductive inference schemes. Since a material theory no longer separates the factual and schematic parts of an induction, it proves not to be vulnerable to Hume's problem of the justification of induction.

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      Item Type: Preprint
      Additional Information: Submitted to <I>Philosophy of Science</I>
      Keywords: induction confirmation
      Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
      Depositing User: John Norton
      Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2003
      Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:11
      Item ID: 1207

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