Single Idea 6738

[catalogued under 14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem]

Full Idea

It looks as if any claim about the future can be made to be a conclusion of an inductive argument from any premises about the past, as long as we use a strange enough grue-like predicate.


'Grue' changes its reference after a specified time

Gist of Idea

Any conclusion can be drawn from an induction, if we use grue-like predicates


Alexander Bird (Philosophy of Science [1998], Intro)

Book Reference

Bird,Alexander: 'Philosophy of Science' [UCL Press 2000], p.19

A Reaction

So don't use strange grue-like predicates. If all our predicates randomly changed their reference each day, we would be unable to talk to one another at all. Emeralds don't change their colour-properties, so why change the predicates that refer to them?