Rational Induction: An Analysis of the Method of Science and Philosophy

Rational Induction: An Analysis of the Method of Science and Philosophy

Rational Induction: An Analysis of the Method of Science and Philosophy

Rational Induction: An Analysis of the Method of Science and Philosophy

Excerpt

This book is an attempt to attack the problems of knowledge: What is knowledge, and how is it to be justified? It is obvious that these problems are fundamental to all philosophy and science. While the problem of the nature of knowledge has received a great deal of attention by philosophers, under the name of epistemology, the logically prior problem, How do we know when we have attained to knowledge? has never been adequately treated.

The logic of today, following the lead of Kant, consists largely in analyses of the nature of knowledge, studies of the kinds of judgments and concepts; although there is no explicit logical method whereby the correctness of an analysis can be established. Philosophers have merely made their analyses and left to the reader the problem of judging uncritically whether the analysis is well or ill made. Again, logicians, following the lead of Francis Bacon, have sought for methods of discovery or investigation rather than for methods of proof.

When Kant by his Copernican revolution revivified philosophy and inaugurated the brilliant period of German idealism, it was by the discovery of a new logical method. His successors have agreed that Kant was somewhere mistaken, although they have utterly disagreed in what respects he erred. It is now even doubted by some whether the transcendental method has any value at all. The present confused and uncertain state of philosophy has led some thinkers to look for another revival of philosophy through the discovery of a new method.

Perhaps it may be possible to bring about another Copernican revolution by turning from the problem that Locke and Kant placed in the forefront of logical discussion, What is the . . .

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