Fact, Fiction and Forecast
Goodman (Nelson)
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Back Cover Blurb

  1. Here, in a new edition, is Nelson Goodman's provocative philosophical classic — a book that, according to Science, "raised a storm of controversy" when it was first published in 1954, and one that remains on the front lines of philosophical debate. How is it that we feel confident in generalizing from experience in some ways but not in others? How are generalizations that are warranted to be distinguished from those that are not?
  2. Goodman shows that these questions resist formal solution and his demonstration has been taken by nativists like Noam Chomsky and Fodor as proof that neither scientific induction nor ordinary learning can proceed without an a priori, or innate, ordering of hypotheses.
  3. In his new foreword to this edition, Hilary Putnam forcefully rejects these nativist claims. The controversy surrounding these unsolved problems is as relevant to the psychology of cognitive development as it is to the philosophy of science. No serious student of either discipline can afford to misunderstand Goodman's classic argument.
  4. In Putnam's words, it is "one of the few books that every serious student of philosophy in our rime has to have read."
  5. "Quite possibly the best book by a philosopher in the last twenty years. It changed, probably permanently, the way we think about the problem of induction, and hence about a constellation of related problems like learning and the nature of rational decision. This is the work of contemporary philosophy that I would most like to have written."
    Jerry Fodor

  • Harvard University Press; 4th Revised edition edition (1 July 1990)
  • Classic text of the (then) "new problem" of scientific induction. Grue and all that.

"Putnam (Hilary) - Nelson Goodman's Fact, Fiction and Forecast"

Source: Putnam, Conant - Realism with a Human Face

Author’s Introduction
  1. "Goodman (Nelson) - Fact, Fiction and Forecast" has achieved the paradoxical status of a contemporary classic. It is a classic by virtue of being one of the few books that every serious student of philosophy in our time has to have read; it is contemporary not just because it is by a contemporary philosopher but because it speaks to what are still among the most widely discussed issues in philosophy.
  2. Goodman totally recasts the traditional problem of induction. For him the problem is not to guarantee that induction will succeed in the future—we have no such guarantee — but to characterize what induction is in a way that is neither too permissive nor too vague. The central difficulty, which Goodman was the first to highlight, is the projection problem: what distinguishes the properties one can inductively project from a sample to a population from the properties that are more or less resistant to such projection?
  3. Goodman's celebrated argument, which he uses to show that all predicates are not equally projectible, depends on his invention of the strange predicate "grue". He defines something as grue if it is either observed before a certain date and is green, or is not observed before that date and is blue. …


"Goodman (Nelson) - Fact, Fiction and Forecast: Introductions"

Source: Goodman - Fact, Fiction and Forecast, 4th Edition, 1983, Introductions

"Goodman (Nelson) - The Problem of Counterfactual Conditionals"

Source: Goodman - Fact, Fiction and Forecast, 4th Edition, 1983, Chapter 1
Write-up Note1

  1. The Problem in General;
  2. The Problem of Relevant Conditions;
  3. The Problem of Law

COMMENT: Also in "Linsky (Leonard), Ed. - Semantics and the Philosophy of Language - A Collection of Readings".

"Goodman (Nelson) - The Passing of the Possible"

Source: Goodman - Fact, Fiction and Forecast, 4th Edition, 1983, Chapter 2

  1. Forward: On the Philosophic Conscience;
  2. Counterfactuals;
  3. Dispositions;
  4. Possibles;
  5. The Passing

"Goodman (Nelson) - The New Riddle of Induction"

Source: Goodman - Fact, Fiction and Forecast, 4th Edition, 1983, Chapter 3
Write-up Note1

  1. The Old Problem of Induction;
  2. Dissolution of the Old Problem;
  3. The Constructive Task of Confirmation Theory;
  4. The New Riddle of Induction;
  5. The Pervasive Problem of Projection

"Goodman (Nelson) - Prospects for a Theory of Projection"

Source: Goodman - Fact, Fiction and Forecast, 4th Edition, 1983, Chapter 4

  1. A New Look at the Problem;
  2. Actual Projections;
  3. Resolution of Conflicts;
  4. Presumptive Projectibility;
  5. Comparative Projectibility;
  6. Survey and Speculation

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  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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