The Concept of Induction in the Light of the Interrogative Approach to Inquiry
Hintikka (Jaakko)
Source: Earman (John), Ed. - Inference, Explanation and Other Philosophical Frustrations
Paper - Abstract

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Editor’s Introduction1

  1. Jaakko Hintikka's contribution draws out some of the implications for induction of his interrogative model of inquiry. This model conceptualizes scientific inquiry as a game played by a scientist against Nature. The scientist’s goal is to derive a conclusion C from a starting premise P. To reach this goal the scientist is allowed two kinds of moves:
    1. an interrogative move in which a question is put to Nature and an answer received, and
    2. a deductive move in which he draws logical consequences from P and the answers received to interrogative moves.
    A very striking feature of this model is the absence of any place for induction as it is traditionally conceived.
  2. Hintikka argues that Hume’s classic problem of induction is an artifact of the mistaken assumption that the only answers Nature gives to queries are in the form of atomic (i.e., quantifier-free) sentences. Hintikka sides with the view, traceable to Newton and beyond Newton to Aristotle, that observation and experiment provide us with propositions that possess a significant generality. The residual, non-Humean problem of induction, as Hintikka conceives it, consists in extending the scopes of and unifying the general truths received from Nature.


Part I - Inference and Method

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: Taken from "Earman (John) - Inference, Explanation and Other Philosophical Frustrations: Introduction".

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