1st Edition

Foundations of Inference in Natural Science

ISBN 9780415847773
Published October 19, 2013 by Routledge
242 Pages

USD $55.95

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Book Description

Originally published in 1952. This book is a critical survey of the views of scientific inference that have been developed since the end of World War I. It contains some detailed exposition of ideas – notably of Keynes – that were cryptically put forward, often quoted, but nowhere explained. Part I discusses and illustrates the method of hypothesis. Part II concerns induction. Part III considers aspects of the theory of probability that seem to bear on the problem of induction and Part IV outlines the shape of this problem and its solution take if transformed by the present approach.


Table of Contents

  1. Scientific Outlook
  2. Experiments and Method
  3. The Contrast Between Generalisation and Non-Instantial Hypothesis
  4. The Principle of Testability
  5. Induction and the Hypothetico-Deductive System
  6. Hypothetico-Deductive Explanation
  7. Two Types of Simplicity
  8. Determinism, Orderliness and Uncertainty
  9. Operationalism and the Descriptive Interpretation
  10. The Traditional Approach to Induction
  11. Criteria for Causal Determination and Functional Relationship
  12. The Nature and Strength of Generalisation, Analogy and Induction
  13. Induction by Repetition
  14. The Law of Uniformity of Nature
  15. Requirements for an Inductive Principle
  16. Four Principles of Induction
  17. Induction as a Successful Habit
  18. The Vertical Causal Nexus
  19. Impasse in the Inductive Approach
  20. Some Theorems in Probability
  21. The Meaning of Probability
  22. The Probability of a Hypothesis
  23. Appendix: The Probability Calculus and Keynes’s Principle

  24. Probability and Induction
  25. Transformation of the Problem of Induction

List of Works Directly Cited



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