Free Research Paper About What Is The "Problem Of Induction"?

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Induction, Philosophy, Nature, Reasoning, Instance, Experience, Future, Uniformity

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/22

The problem of induction is referred to as a philosophical, metaphysical, theoretical and logical question. It concerns whether a certain type of reasoning referred to as inductive reasoning, can lead one to knowledge.Knowledge of an understanding of their classic metaphysical or philosophical logic and sense. This is because it focuses on the nonexistence of a proper rationalization. The rationalization can be making a generalization concerning the characteristics of a group of objects on the basis of some observations of specific occurrences of that category.
For instance, the conjecture that all or most of the Swans that we have laid our eyes on are white. Thus one can conclude that all the Swans must be white, before a rediscovery or discovery of the Swans that are black. It can be making a presumption that a sequence or system of observations or events in the forthcoming time will happen since has always been happening in the past. For instance maintenance of a status quo, this can be envisaged in the physics laws. With the assumption that they will always hold as they have been held in the past, a philosopher called Humes once called this Uniformity of Nature principle (Chalmers 60).
This problem thus brings into question all the experimental claims that are constantly made in ordinary life or through a thorough methodical and systematic method or process. Thus, one philosopher called C.D Broad once believed that induction is the beauty of scientific thinking and the philosophy scandal. Although the problem of induction can be traced back to the Pyrrhonism of the philosophy of ancient times, and also to the Carvaka Indian school of Philosophy, the famous philosopher David Humes coined it in the 18th century.With notable response by Karl Popper two centuries before him (Karl 48).
During the process of inductive reasoning, an individual simply makes a number of observations. He thus proceeds to make an inference based on these new observations. He later makes a new claim or hypothesis which later develops into a theory based on these observations. For example, using a series of observations that a certain lady always walks her pet by the market every Monday at 8am. It looks valid at first glance that probably the next Monday that lady will also do the same. Or the assumption that this lady will probably walk her pet every Monday by that market. Thus, the next Monday simply adds to a series of observations if that lady walks by that market. However, this may not prove that she will walk by the market each and every Monday (Sextus, 46).
This is because it is not always certain however number of observations witnessed, that this lady will be performing the same routine each and every Monday. In fact on that problem of induction, David Humes would contend that we cannot any way claim that it is in any way more probable. This is because it still requires and entails the assumption that the past events always predict the future which in most cases does not hold true. Secondly, these observations themselves do not provide an establishment of the validity of the inductive reasoning paradigm except inductively.
Bertrand Russell authored in his little book “The problem of philosophy” a very crucial essay that he called “On induction”. Russell’s portrayal of induction dates recalls back to the skeptic and questioned by names David Humes. Humes maintained that there existed no such a link between the possible occurrence of any two events he called A and D. In this case, only the convention of always anticipating that the occurrence of event A will always lead to the eventual occurrence of the other event Humes was simply talking about the causation of nature.
But will we be right id we established that there exists a certain Uniformity of nature? In the pursuit of an answer to this question, the empiricist, and pragmatist, Russell comes in way similar to that contented by a similar Empiricist Humes. There exists a multitude of examples and illustrations to show that the so-called uniformity of nature conjecture is difficult to show. For instance, Russell notes that the domestic pets will always expect food at the moment they see a person who normally nurtures them. The individual who normally feeds the chicken each and every day it entire life will in the end just slaughter it instead. This shows that more refined views as the uniformity of nature principle and conjecture would not have saved the chicken.
Russell also contends that the food which could have a certain appearance could also have some taste. On contrary it is always as a huge shock to the expectations of the mind and eyes when this tainted appearance does not match the tastes that are expected. Thus, one would expect green apple to pose the same taste it had the last time they ate it five or so times back. It is not possible that the Penicillin that cured one's strep throat a dozen times before would do so if used again. What is all being done in all these scenarios is just an expectation that the future will always resemble the past. The challenge is that Russell contends that it is possible to have experience of the “past futures” but you have not got a sample of those perceived future futures (Russell, 69).
Russell allows that the principal being examined at hand is called the Principle of induction. This principle runs as follows in that when anything of a certain kind A has been found out to be also associated or connected to another thing of kind B, and has never been discovered to be dissociated from that thing of kind B, then the greater the amount of cases likelihood that the two will be associated in a given fresh case for which one of them is always known to be available (Russell, 70).
Thus the greater the magnitude of the number of the cases at hand in which the two scenarios A and B have been associated with each other. There is a greater magnitude of the likelihood that they will as well be associated in any fresh case involving the two of them. Even when one would believe that the likelihoods are correct and reliable, these probabilities are not known either. Although, the sun has risen today and is known to have risen for the past time, there is no justification for your conjecture and belief that the sun will rise tomorrow.
The principle that we are examining in this sense is the Principle of induction. The principle of induction possesses two parts that may be stated as follow:(1) that when anything of a certain kind A has been found out to be also associated or connected to another thing of kind B, and has never been discovered to be dissociated from that thing of kind B. Then the greater the amount of cases likelihood that the two will be associated in a given fresh case for which one of them is always known to be available. (2)Under similar circumstances, a significantly sufficient number of cases of association will create the probability of a fresh new association almost a certainty and will make this approach this presumed certainty without limit.
This principle of induction can be properly explained using the principles of science, for instance, the credence in the reign of law. And also the presumption that each and every event is supposed to have a cause. These are entirely dependent on the principle of induction as are most of most of the beliefs of daily life. Those and other principles are believed simply because humans have found a number of instances on which they could base to prove their truism or falsehood. But this does not imply that they will continue to happen in the future unless the principle of induction is put into consideration.
This means that all the knowledge which based on the experience could tell us about what could not have been experienced is just rooted in an assumption which experience can neither approve nor refuse. Which at least is based more on sound applications can turn out to be just connected to us as the multitude of the evidence of experience.

Works cited

Chalmers. "Deriving Theories from Facts:." Induction . 1997. 42-58
Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, p. 3-6
Russell, Bertrand. "Problems of Philosophy." Russell, Bertrand. Induction. 1997. 60-69
Sextus, Empiricus. Outlines of Pyrrhonism trans. London: Heineman, 1933.
Shouler, Kenneth. "Understanding Philosophy." n.d. net places. 16 March 2015 <>

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