Inductive Inference and Its Natural Ground - an Essay in Naturalistic Epistemology
Kornblith (Hilary)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.


Amazon Book Description

  1. Hilary Kornblith presents an account of inductive inference that addresses both its metaphysical and epistemological aspects. He argues that inductive knowledge is possible by virtue of the fit between our innate psychological capacities and the causal structure of the world.
  2. Kornblith begins by developing an account of natural kinds1 that has its origins in John Locke's work on real and nominal essences. In Kornblith's view, a natural kind2 is a stable cluster of properties that are bound together in nature. The existence of such kinds serves as a natural ground of inductive inference.
  3. Kornblith then examines two features of human psychology that explain how knowledge of natural kinds3 is attained. First, our concepts are structured innately in a way that presupposes the existence of natural kinds4. Second, our native inferential tendencies tend to provide us with accurate beliefs about the world when applied to environments that are populated by natural kinds5.

"Kornblith (Hilary) - The Naturalistic Project in Epistemology"

Source: Kornblith - Inductive Inference and Its Natural Ground, Chapter 1

  1. Epistemology as a Part of Natural Science
  2. The Importance of Natural Kinds1
  3. Our Psychological Constitution
  4. Conclusion

"Kornblith (Hilary) - Locke and Natural Kinds"

Source: Kornblith - Inductive Inference and Its Natural Ground, Chapter 2

  1. What is the View?
  2. Three Views
  3. Two Arguments for Conventionalism
  4. Two Kinds of Conventionalism
  5. The Official View
  6. Two Kinds of Skepticism about Real Essence
  7. Knowledge of Real Essence
  8. Conclusion

"Kornblith (Hilary) - Real Kinds in Nature"

Source: Kornblith - Inductive Inference and Its Natural Ground, Chapter 3

  1. Boyd’s Account of Natural Kinds1: Homeostatic Property Clusters
  2. All Their Properties in Common
  3. Merely Postponing the Problem
  4. Conventionalism Again
  5. Kinds in the Special Sciences
  6. And Not Token Identical Either
  7. Conclusion

"Kornblith (Hilary) - Concepts and Kinds"

Source: Kornblith - Inductive Inference and Its Natural Ground, Chapter 4

  1. Superficial Similarities
  2. Same Appearance versus Same Kind
  3. Outsides and Insides: Where the Essences Are
  4. Psychological Essentialism and Its Innateness: Preliminary Considerations
  5. Innate Constraints on Syntax and Innate Constraints on Concepts
  6. Directions for Future Research
  7. Conclusion

"Kornblith (Hilary) - Our Native Inferential Tendencies"

Source: Kornblith - Inductive Inference and Its Natural Ground, Chapter 5

  1. Inferential Error and Perceptual Error
  2. The Law of Small Numbers
  3. Predictions Based on the Law of Small Numbers
  4. The Standards of Statistical Inference
  5. Small Numbers and Natural Kinds1: What Needs to be Shown
  6. Detection and Covariation: The Bad News
  7. Detection and Covariation: The Good News
  8. Projecting the Right Features of Natural Kinds2
  9. Conclusion

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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