The Problem of Induction

The Problem of Induction - The Problem of Induction If you...

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The Problem of Induction If you found that another 45 were rotten, would you bet your life savings that all the remaining 50 were rotten? Probably not, since it is still possible that some, even many, of them are not rotten. If you found that another 49 were also rotten, would you bet your life savings that the last remaining apple was rotten? Most people would, but they'd still have a lot of anxiety as the last apple was pulled from the barrel because it was still possible that the hypothesis, ``all the apples are rotten,'' was false. Hypotheses can only be confirmed, not logically proven to be true. Understand that it is possible to deduce true conclusions (the 5th apple will be rotten) from premises that may be false (all the apples are rotten). Because we can deduce true predictions from a false theory, no matter how long a theory has been successful in making predictions, it cannot be known to be true absolutely. It could be found to be false tomorrow. Critics of science often attempt to use this logical window to repudiate many scientific
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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