Phil 264 - Goodman-2 - Goodman's "The New Riddle of...

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Goodman's "The New Riddle of Induction" (1965) Study Questions 6-10 Background to study questions 6-10 In the first half of his paper, Goodman wants to suggest that several philosophical problems associated with inductive inferences have been, if not solved, dissolved. He claims that, not only has Hume's problem been (dis)solved, several problems discovered by philosopher/scientist Carl Hempel have also been adequately dealt with. One such problem is the "infamous paradox of the ravens." 6. What is the infamous paradox of the ravens? It is a puzzle generated by the fact that the following statement pairs are logically equivalent, so that one is true if and only if the other is true. (i) All Fs are G. (ii) All non-Gs are non-F's. Given this logical equivalence, we can assert the logical equivalence of (iii) and (iv): (iii) All ravens are black. (iv) All non-black things are non-ravens. (Or everything that is not black is not a raven.) Here's the paradox. If (iii) and (iv) are logically equivalent, then evidence for (iii) is evidence for (iv) and evidence for (iv) is evidence for (iii). However, suppose I observe (e.g.) a pencil that is red. This clearly supports (or "confirms") - however weakly - the claim that all non-black things are non-ravens. However, it does not appear (intuitively) to support the claim that all ravens are black. To see this point, suppose that I am an ornithologist who has observed literally thousands of ravens - all of which were black. I will naturally regard this bit of personal history as supporting the general claim that all ravens are black. But now consider a different scenario. Suppose that I am both an ornithologist and a citrus grower. Suppose further that, while I have never actually observed a raven, I have observed hundreds of thousands of citrus fruits none of which were black but all of which were either orange (oranges), green (limes), or yellow (lemons/grapefruits). It would never occur to me to suppose that my observations of hundreds of thousands of non-black citrus fruits provided
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2009 for the course PHIL 264 taught by Professor Reimer during the Spring '07 term at University of Arizona- Tucson.

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Phil 264 - Goodman-2 - Goodman's "The New Riddle of...

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