The Goodman Paradox: Three Different Problems and a Naturalistic Solution to Two of Them

Author: Stemmer, Nathan

Source: Journal for General Philosophy of Science, Volume 35, Number 2, September 2004 , pp. 351-370(20)

Publisher: Springer

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It is now more than 50 years that the Goodman paradox has been discussed, and many different solutions have been proposed. But so far no agreement has been reached about which is the correct solution to the paradox. In this paper, I present the naturalistic solutions to the paradox that were proposed in Quine (1969, 1974), Quine and Ullian (1970/1978), and Stemmer (1971). At the same time, I introduce a number of modifications and improvements that are needed for overcoming shortcomings of the solutions. The discussion of this improved version suggests that the Goodman paradox actually embodies three different problems; yet, one of them is not Goodman’s but Hume’s problem. The discussion also suggests that the naturalistic approach is probably the best for basing on it a theory of confirmation. Finally, I analyze one of Hume’s insights that seems to have been largely ignored. This insight shows a surprising similarity to a central feature of the naturalistic solutions.

Keywords: Goodman paradox; Hempel paradox; Hume’s insights; confirmation theories; naturalism; objective projectibility; subjective projectibility

Document Type: Research Article


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Publication date: September 1, 2004

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