2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

Induction and the Problem of Justification
Nathan J. Hardy
Dr. Chad Mohler, Faculty Mentor

David Hume, and later echoed by philosophers such as Russell and others, famously posed the question of how we can claim to justify or know the conclusions of inductive inferences. In other words, what gives us reason to think theyre true? After all, in an inductive argument the premises dont actually imply the conclusion, they merely make it probable and were stuck here hoping that gravity still works (which, so far, it has). After several attempts to justify induction, Hume eventually concluded that we only rely on induction out of custom and are unable to actually justify it because any attempt to justify induction at all will depend on using induction itself. In this paper, I set out to explore two modern attempts to justify induction proposed by Peter Strawson and Hans Reichenbach and to attempt to judge whether either is a viable solution to the problem.

Keywords: Induction, Hume, Strawson, Reichenbach, Justification

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 8-2
Location: MG 2090
Time: 8:15

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