Cory Juhl
University of Texas at Austin
, Hans Reichenbach made a bold and original attempt to ‘vindicate’ induction. He proposed a rule, the ‘straight rule’ of induction, which would guarantee inductive success if any rule of induction would. A central problem facing his attempt to vindicate the straight rule is that too many other rules are just as good as the straight rule if our only constraint on what counts as ‘success’ for an inductive rule is that it is ‘asymptotic’, i.e. that it converges in the limit to the true limiting frequency (of some type of outcome O in a sequence of events) whenever such a limiting frequency exists. In this paper I consider the consequences of requiring speed-optimality of asymptotic methods, that is, requiring that inductive methods must get to the truth as quickly as possible. Two main results are proved: (1) the straight rule is speed-optimal; (2) there are (uncountably) many non-speed-optimal asymptotic methods. A further result gives a sufficient but not necessary condition for speed-optimality among asymptotic methods. Some consequences and open questions are then discussed.
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/45.3.857
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Means-Ends Epistemology.O. Schulte - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (1):1-31.
Speed-Optimal Induction and Dynamic Coherence.Michael Nielsen & Eric Wofsey - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2):439-455.

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