The Problems of Philosophy - Chapter 6, On Induction Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 6, On Induction Summary and Analysis

We are directly acquainted with sense-data and ourselves. However, we can go beyond our sense data by drawing inferences. To do this properly, we must have knowledge of general principles of proper inference. Russell illustrates one valid case with the belief that the sun will rise tomorrow. None of us doubts it because it is validly inferred from past experience. However, the conclusion that the sun will rise is not proved by past experience; after all, the sun could explode. Instead, we proceed by "induction." We see that it is probable that the sun will rise.

We often use induction to infer causation. When we see that factors are associated, we often think that one is caused by another. Animals make such inferences as well. Sometimes the ties are misleading but many ties in fact indicate causes...

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