Induction and Epistemological Naturalism

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Lars-Göran Johansson

Subject: Arts & Humanities, Philosophy

Keywords: induction; naturalism; evidence and justification; epistemic norms; induction and concept formation; induction and discovery of laws

Epistemological naturalism dismisses the notion that epistemology is a basis for the empirical sciences. In particular, it rejects the demand for a general justification of induction. Making inductive generalisations is a basic habit among humans. There is no such thing as a logic of inductive inference. The role of induction in science is heuristic; it is our way of inventing new theoretical predicates and developing theories. We discover new laws by applying inductive thinking; but this is not any kind of inference which can be evaluated as more or less rational.

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