Induction is the process of deriving general principles from particular facts or instances. The "problem of induction" lies in the using of a finite number of instances and generalizing those instances to an infinite possibility of instances. Philosophers of science are constantly debating on whether the "problem of induction" can be solved or if it is unsolvable. The following essay looks at one author who claims that the "problem of induction" can be solved. This essay will examine the article Philosophical Foundations of Physics: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science by Rudolf Carnap. The first section will reconstruct Carnap's argument of why he believes the "problem of induction" can be solved and the second section will deal with a critical analysis of his argument.
The following is the reconstruction of Carnap's argument from the essay titled in the introduction:.
If logical/inductive probability can be used to show 100% confirmation with no negative instances, then the "problem of induction" can be solved.
Logical/inductive probability can be used to show 100% confirmation with no negative instances.
Therefore, the "problem of induction" can be solved.
In the first premise, Carnap explores the foundation of his argument. The foundation of his argument lies in using induction to derive a valid deductive argument. His reasoning behind this is due to the fact that the conclusion of an inductive argument is never certain. Even if the premises are assumed to be true and the inference is a valid inductive argument, the conclusion may be false (Carnap, p. 17-18). On the other hand, the conclusion to a valid deductive argument is always certain. In deductive logic, inference leads from a set of premises to a conclusion just as certain as the premises. If you have reason to believe the premises, you have equally valid reason to believe the conclusion that follows logically from the premises.