Popper on Inductive Reasoning - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1874 Words
Date:  2022-10-14


Inductive reasoning is a type of thinking based on using the premises of an argument to support a conclusion, but not guarantee this conclusion. The premises support the conclusion. The conclusion is the hypothesis or a probable. As such, the conclusion is part of the reasoning that inductive reasoning is trying to prove. Sir Karl. R. Popper, a philosopher of science, had a peculiar stance on inductive reasoning. He states that science does not employ induction, induction is a misnomer. Knowledge is created by speculations and criticism. Experimental observations and conclusions in Science are all undertaken to critique and falsify existing theories. In his view, the problem of induction is using induction to justify theories that are justifiable otherwise. Justification is not needed at all. Instead, we should aim at spotting and rectifying errors. Theories remain unscathed in the face of criticism are the ones that are strengthened by criticism (Fisher, 2018). Under theories that have a likelihood of truth was is not the purpose of knowledge-seeking. Science will be better if it tends to source for theories that are false, that is a lot of issues could turn out wrong, yet attempts to falsify them have failed.

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Popper in his attempt to discredit inductive reasoning embraces the modus tolens as the central method of disconfirming or proving wrong, scientific hypothesis. Scientists will start with current scientific theory and use the usual method of deductive reasoning to derive specific conclusions, with some being predictions. It preserves "truth" in reasoning; if one starts with true premises, one can only deduce "true" conclusions. Inductive reasoning could also be "Cause and Effect reasoning." Because it seeks to establish proof of a conclusion first. The prime philosophical aspect in induction is in the problem of whether induction can be "justified"-a situation known as the problem of induction, discovered by the Scottish thinker David Hume. Analyzing this, then inductive reasoning lacks a rational justification.

David Hume critiqued induction and whether it holds water as a stable form of reasoning in his text, A Treatise of Human Nature. He opines that induction loses ground for some reasons: Inductions are beneficial since they are tethered on nature's uniformity. He calls this the principle of uniformity of nature. For instance, one deduces that say from a case example of some sample white doves; then doves are white or instead there is some natural whiteness among doves (Fisher, 2018). This is validated by the fact that nature is uniform either deductively or inductively.

Nevertheless, deduction of such an assumption makes justification of induction circular. Hence induction is an unjust form of reasoning. This phenomenon is Hume's problem of reasoning. This approach to reasoning was criticized by Nelson Goodman (1955) who faults the fact that identifying habits guides induction. Human nature frequently develops habits to selectively make some inductions, even under subjection to both sides of the observations. He demonstrated the same with the actual example. Assuming that all emeralds are green, then we would induce that the next observed emerald is green. The question is, Why green? What if grue refers to all observed green things or unobserved blue things? Then all observed emeralds would be real as well. Still, no one induces that the next observed emerald would be blue even though there is a space for this and concrete evidence to back up this. Here grue is a derivative of green and blue. What if blue and green are defined regarding an anagram of blue and green? The blue is observed, and the green is unobserved (Fisher, 2018). That the new riddle of induction-it is not about what justifies the induction, but rather, a matter of why people make the inductions they do give they have some evidence to make several incongruent inductions?

Reject the existence of rational reasoning

The problem of induction leads to a universal or generalized, homogeneous truth from a specific truth. There can be no justification to predict universal truth from specific truth. A conclusion drawn this way stands chances of falsehood. How to support or justify them is the dilemma: the principle cannot be proved deductively dependent upon, and only necessary truths can be proven deductively. Still, it cannot be supported inductively by arguing that it has always been reliable in the past because that begs the question by assuming what is to be proved. Conclusions would not be entirely valid, because the next observations would always come and reject them. Inductive reasoning, independently, will not generate actual knowledge. For Popper, the search was focused on disproving the wrong ones rather than confirmation of what is the right theories. Hume's discovery, rejection of the existence of inductive reasoning. Hume posits that it is inconceivable to justify a law by observation or experiment since that "exceeds experience." Secondly, science proposes and uses laws "everywhere and all the time." Lastly, is the principle of empiricism where science only observation and experiment may decide upon the acceptance or rejection of scientific statements-laws and theories. Popper rejected these three tenets founding the problem of induction.

According to Popper human beings live as they do, forming beliefs based on evidence, and without using inductive reasoning. This is achieved by empirical approaches, derived from experiment and observation rather than theory. Critical testing, a distinguishable feature of Popper's theory, asserts that a theory must be tested as a precondition for critical treating to valid results. The four criteria lists are logical comparison and contrast of the conclusions amongst themselves, the consistency and sustainability. There is also the analysis in the logical form of the theory, to determine if the theory will form an integral part of the scientific advance in the event it survives some key acid tests; testing of a theory by way of experimental and observational applications of conclusions derived thereof. Popper sees a theory as statements, that are closely intertwined or even others being unrelated. He classifies the statements into levels, depending on their deduction. A statement will be subordinate to another if it is derived from the statement at a higher level. At the lowest level are the "basic statements," that are in tandem with a set of singular facts. Statements at the higher levels are called universal statements, explain dependent lowly ranked statements. Forming beliefs based on evidence, without using inductive reasoning will be guided by some fundamental tenets.

First and foremost, there is no monopoly of knowledge sources. Knowledge is carried along by all sources, and all views should be put on one platform. All facts are thus subject to criticism and interrogation. We should form the habit of critiquing the factual content itself and not their origins. The valid philosophical theory of knowledge is not about sources but instead looking into the tangibility of truth in claims. Do they coincide with facts? Only tests on the assertions themselves directly or indirectly (looking at there) effects.

Also, all sorts of arguments are relevant and legit. It would be of essence to determine whether our theories correlate with our observations and the mutual inclusivity and invariance of historical sources on the same. Noteworthy, by the amount or by degree, the prime and outstanding source of our knowledge, except innate knowledge, is a tradition. Almost always, the much things we understand or are familiar with are learned by example. Think of reading books, learning how to criticize, or respond to criticism, and how to honor truth (Shea, 2016). However, the sources of our knowledge being traditional may exhibit indifference to modernity as ineffectual. However, we should not cling on taking the side of traditionally founded knowledge. Even the hereditary trait of knowledge, the innate can be criticized and even purged. Withal, we have to appreciate the role of traditional knowledge as being a stepping stone for the acquisition of new knowledge. And indeed, knowledge cannot trace its origin in a nonentity, a nothing or a void, a fresh start or still, an observation. Advancement in knowledge traces its beginning from modifications done to the existing knowledge. The significance of discoveries and the strides taken in favorable development of knowledge are dependent upon our proactivity and agility to modify or incorporate erstwhile learned theories.

Equally important, pessimistic, and optimistic theories of knowledge (epistemologies) are similarly misunderstood. Let's start by admitting the fact that all men and women, plants, animals' possess innate, inborn knowledge. The truth is always hidden deep, and we can cross-examine deep into the in-depth dimension. Pessimism is backed up by the fact that there is no set criterion for the truth at our discretion. We possess some requirements, in our inner self that assist our conscientious ability to distinguish errors and falsehoods. Authority rests solely on neither observation nor reason (McAbee, Landis, & Burke, 2017). Our intellects exude intuition, though they would be unreliable. They may tend to give us incoherent implications; they could be altogether misleading. With their primal benefit being sources of theories, we still have to give the benefit of the doubt that a significant number of the theories are untrue. It must be understood that observation, intuition, imagination, or reasoning serve to critically analyze, evaluate, research into our guesses in which we inspect the anonymous.

Lastly, it would be necessary to give credence to the fact that every solution of a problem brings up even different unsolved problems. Given this, the broader and deeper the original problem, then the salient the solution will be. A case in point is like our apprehension of the world, it grows deeper with our acquisition of knowledge and learning about it. Thus, the more cognizance, unique and specific to or competent our awareness of this knowledge we have not yet learned yet or in any way acquired - our ignorance remains limitless, exists at infinity. Thinking about things that may surpass our understanding like the heavens, then this brings to the fore the magnitude of this ignorance in us (McAbee, Landis, & Burke, 2017).


In conclusion, it is worthwhile learning something about the world even when doing so exposes what we have not yet known and appreciate the fact that in differing with the little bits of knowledge we have, we all possess a significant amount of infinite ignorance, and to some degree are equal in this. True to the observation where many critics have argued that Popper's anti-induction views go too far. One such case example is Wesley C. Salmon who holds that predictions must be foreseen so that to meet the practical purpose and also in the aim of subjecting the theories to test. Thinkers who identify and associate with Popper's school of thought need to select a theory, not yet proven false and choose well-supported theories. Despite this, they will be on the horns of a dilemma: the presupposition that since the theory survived the critiques' bullet, which projects it to be counted on in future or the aspect of corroboration does not translate to predictability hence lack a rational motivation for a chosen set of ideas. It must be conceded that according to David Miller, Popper's theory makes inductivist assumptions. The predictive power is in the hypothesis itself, not in its verification. An all-around certified hypothesis is what is essentially less demanding to dilute: Well-authenticated implies that no sort of test could have misrepresented or distorted t...

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Popper on Inductive Reasoning - Essay Sample . (2022, Oct 14). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/popper-on-inductive-reasoning-paper-example

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