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Reviving Material Theories of Induction

McCaskey, John P. (2020) Reviving Material Theories of Induction. In: UNSPECIFIED.

Reviving Material Theories of Induction (final preprint).pdf

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John D. Norton says that philosophers have been led astray for thousands of years by their attempt to treat induction formally. He is correct that such an attempt has caused no end of trouble, but he is wrong about the history. There is a rich tradition of non-formal induction in the writings of, among others, Aristotle, Cicero, John Buridan, Lorenzo Valla, Rudolph Agricola, Peter Ramus, Francis Bacon, and William Whewell. In fact, material theories of induction prevailed all through antiquity and from the Renaissance to the mid-1800s. Recovering these past systems would not only fill lacunae in Norton’s own theory but would highlight areas where Norton has not freed himself from the straightjacket of formal induction as much as he might think. The effort might also help us build a new theory of induction on the ground Norton has cleared for us. This essay begins that recovery and invites that rebuilding.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
McCaskey, John P.mailbox@johnmccaskey.com0000-0001-7528-2151
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Depositing User: Dr. John P. McCaskey
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2020 01:38
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2020 01:38
Item ID: 18052
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Date: 12 August 2020

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