Demonstrative induction and the skeleton of inference

Abstract

It has been common wisdom for centuries that scientific inference cannot be deductive; if it is inference at all, it must be a distinctive kind of inductive inference. According to demonstrative theories of induction, however, important scientific inferences are not inductive in the sense of requiring ampliative inference rules at all. Rather, they are deductive inferences with sufficiently strong premises. General considerations about inferences suffice to show that there is no difference in justification between an inference construed demonstratively or ampliatively. The inductive risk may be shouldered by premises or rules, but it cannot be shirked. Demonstrative theories of induction might, nevertheless, better describe scientific practice. And there may be good methodological reasons for constructing our inferences one way rather than the other. By exploring the limits of these possible advantages, I argue that scientific inference is neither of essence deductive nor of essence inductive

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Author's Profile

P. D. Magnus
State University of New York, Albany

References found in this work

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.

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