Single Idea 6790

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

Full Idea

Whatever could do the job of justifying an inference from the observed to the unobserved must itself be an inference from the observed to the unobserved.

Gist of Idea

Anything justifying inferences from observed to unobserved must itself do that


Alexander Bird (Philosophy of Science [1998], Ch.5)

Book Reference

Bird,Alexander: 'Philosophy of Science' [UCL Press 2000], p.172

A Reaction

We must first accept that the unobserved might not be like the observed, no matter how much regularity we have, so it can't possibly be a logical 'inference'. Essences generate regularities, but non-essences may not.