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Induction, Grue Emeralds and Lady Macbeth's Fallacy

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Abstract:

This paper does not purport to offer yet another ‘solution’ to the much discussed ‘new riddle’ of induction. The focus, instead, is on the genesis of Goodman's paradox and its relation to the classic problem of induction. In the arguments which led Goodman from the dissolution of Hume's problem to the discovery of the new riddle, I reveal a fundamentally flawed assumption about the nature of inductive inference which undermines Goodman's contention that the genuine problem of induction consists in distinguishing between projectible and non-projectible regularities. I further show that if the same set of observations may indeed support an indefinitely large number of inductive predictions, then the rationale for dismissing the classic problem of induction disappears. Stripped of its erroneous assumptions, the new riddle becomes nothing more than a special case of Hume's problem.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9213.00080

Affiliations: University of London

Publication date: 1998-01-01

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