Hume on induction

Introduction One of the major claims made regarding qualitative methods is that they diverge from scientific explanation models in terms of the need for hypothesis testing.

Hume on induction

Formulation of the problem[ edit ] Usually inferred from repeated observations: Usually not inferred from repeated observations: In inductive reasoningone makes a series of observations and infers a new claim based on them.

For instance, from a series of observations that a woman walks her dog by the market at 8am on Monday, it seems valid to infer that next Monday she will do the same, or that, in general, the woman walks her dog by the market every Monday. That next Monday the woman walks by the market merely adds to the series of observations, it does not prove she will walk by the market every Monday.

First of all, it is not certain, regardless of the number of observations, that the woman always walks by the market at 8am on Monday. In fact, David Hume would even argue that we cannot claim it is "more probable", since this still requires the assumption that the past predicts the future.

Second, the observations themselves do not establish the validity of inductive reasoning, except inductively. Bertrand Russell illustrated this point in The Problems of Philosophy: We know that all these rather crude expectations of uniformity are liable to be misleading.

The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its Hume on induction instead, showing that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken. But if they review some, the induction will Hume on induction insecure, since some of the particulars omitted in the induction may contravene the universal; while if they are to review all, they will be toiling at the impossible, since the particulars are infinite and indefinite.

But if it is without approval, whence comes it that it is truthworthy? For no matter of dispute is to be trusted without judging. And, if it has been approved, that which approves it, in turn, either has been approved or has not been approved, and so on ad infinitum.

The Carvakaa materialist and skeptic school of Indian philosophy, used the problem of induction to point out the flaws in using inference as a way to gain valid knowledge. They held that since inference needed an invariable connection between the middle term and the predicate, and further, that since there was no way to establish this invariable connection, that the efficacy of inference as a means of valid knowledge could never be stated.

Here, "reason" refers to deductive reasoning and "induction" refers to inductive reasoning. First, Hume ponders the discovery of causal relationswhich form the basis for what he refers to as "matters of fact".

He argues that causal relations are found not by reason, but by induction. This is because for any cause, multiple effects are conceivable, and the actual effect cannot be determined by reasoning about the cause; instead, one must observe occurrences of the causal relation to discover that it holds.

Early life and works

For example, when one thinks of "a billiard ball moving in a straight line toward another", [14] one can conceive that the first ball bounces back with the second ball remaining at rest, the first ball stops and the second ball moves, or the first ball jumps over the second, etc.

There is no reason to conclude any of these possibilities over the others. Only through previous observation can it be predicted, inductively, what will actually happen with the balls.

In general, it is not necessary that causal relation in the future resemble causal relations in the past, as it is always conceivable otherwise; for Hume, this is because the negation of the claim does not lead to a contradiction.

Next, Hume ponders the justification of induction. If all matters of fact are based on causal relations, and all causal relations are found by induction, then induction must be shown to be valid somehow. He uses the fact that induction assumes a valid connection between the proposition "I have found that such an object has always been attended with such an effect" and the proposition "I foresee that other objects which are in appearance similar will be attended with similar effects".

This claim is supported by the same reasoning as that for causal relations above, and by the observation that even rationally inexperienced people can infer, for example, that touching fire causes pain.

Themes, Arguments, and Ideas

Hume challenges other philosophers to come up with a deductive reason for the connection.David Hume: Causation. David Hume () is one of the British Empiricists of the Early Modern period, along with John Locke and George timberdesignmag.comgh the three advocate similar empirical standards for knowledge, that is, that there are no innate ideas and that all knowledge comes from experience, Hume is known for applying this standard rigorously to causation and necessity.

David Hume: David Hume, Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. Despite the enduring impact of his theory of knowledge, Hume seems to have considered himself chiefly as a moralist. Learn .

SparkNotes: David Hume (–): Themes, Arguments, and Ideas

Volume 14, No. 1, Art. 25 – January Theory Building in Qualitative Research: Reconsidering the Problem of Induction. Pedro F. Bendassolli. Abstract: The problem of induction refers to the difficulties involved in the process of justifying experience-based scientific timberdesignmag.com specifically, inductive reasoning assumes a leap from singular observational statements to general.

1. Hume’s Problem. Hume introduces the problem of induction as part of an analysis of the notions of cause and effect.

Hume on induction

Hume worked with a picture, widespread in the early modern period, in which the mind was populated with mental entities called “ideas”. Hume allows that we can still use induction, like causation, to function on a daily basis as long as we recognize the limitations of our knowledge.

Religious Morality Versus Moral Utility Hume proposes the idea that moral principles are rooted in their utility, or usefulness, rather than in God’s will.

A Treatise of Human Nature (Philosophical Classics) [David Hume] on timberdesignmag.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. One of the greatest of all philosophical works, .

The Problem of Induction (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)