Foundations of Inductive Logic

Foundations of Inductive Logic

Foundations of Inductive Logic

Foundations of Inductive Logic

Excerpt

Apology is due from one who, with few credentials, comes forward and claims to make a major contribution in a difficult subject. I have acute and painful feelings of diffidence in the presence of learned colleagues in the academic field, including men of great distinction who have devoted their whole lives to philosophy. I console myself with this thought: it is commonly agreed that in philosophy the prime method of research is neither the study of the printed word nor the conduct of experiments, but reflexion. To the subjects dealt with in this volume I have devoted concentrated and arduous reflexion for numerous periods in the last twenty years; and they have been of interest to me over a longer stretch of time. I am well acquainted with all the agonies of frustration when, again and again, hopeful lines of approach have to be abandoned. I have not failed to pay in arduous toil what may be deemed a proper price for venturing to publish my conclusions.

I should not be frank if I did not express the belief that these conclusions are of great importance. Only that belief could give me face with myself in being so bold as to publish, although a layman in the field. On my first introduction to philosophy I appreciated that the theory of induction was in an unsatisfactory condition. Nineteenth-century attempts to vindicate it had been discredited. During my lifetime the hope of doing so has been largely abandoned. Distinguished philosophers have lapsed into feeble forms of pragmatism. Some have sought refuge from the uncomfortable sense of failure in this field in a comforting dogma, which claims not only that induction cannot be vindicated, but that any attempt to vindicate it would entail some kind of self-contradiction. Yet it is on the face of it strange that there should be no means of vindicating on general principles those methods of thought that have led man forward to so many intellectual triumphs. I claim to be setting out in this volume . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.