Single Idea 6027

[catalogued under 14. Science / C. Induction / 3. Limits of Induction]

Full Idea

There is no necessary inference, from the fact that men familiar to us die when pierced through the heart, that all men do.

Gist of Idea

From the fact that some men die, we cannot infer that they all do


Philodemus (On Signs (damaged) [c.50 BCE], 1.3)

Book Reference

'The Hellenistic Philosophers:Vol.1 translations', ed/tr. Long,A. /Sedley,D. [CUP 1987], p.261

A Reaction

This is scepticism about the logic of induction, long before David Hume. This is said to be a Stoic argument against Epicureans - though on the whole Stoics are not keen on scepticism.