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myhypocricy
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PostSubject: Invalide/valid induction?   Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:03 am

What does everyone think about the idea proposed by Popper that the problem of induction is a non-problem in that science's efforts of induction are actually valid, and not invalid, via falsification? By using modus tollens, an obviously valid form, as the process of falsification, has Popper satisfied the problem of induction, rendering Hume's assumption of induction as invalid actually valid? In other words...is the inferential force of science actually deductive and not inductive as claimed by Hume because as Popper states, "Only the falsity of the theory can be inferred from empirical evidence and this inference is a purely deductive one?"
Thoughts...?

source: the book--"Objective Knowledge" By Karl Popper
and the essay--- "The Problem of Induction" by Popper found at: http://www.dieoff.org/page126.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Invalide/valid induction?   Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:10 pm

I'm not sure if i understand? Why can only the falsity of a theory be inferred?
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PostSubject: Re: Invalide/valid induction?   Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:44 pm

I am not familiar with the actual proof, but it seems correct.

Science rests on induction, ultimately-speaking. Its pragmatism, however, is purely-deductive.
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PostSubject: Re: Invalide/valid induction?   Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:11 am

Observed Observer wrote:
I'm not sure if i understand? Why can only the falsity of a theory be inferred?

Yeah that's my question..haha
Hume's problem is one of inferring universals from particulars. So for example..."This swan is white. Therefore all swans are white."
The form is obviously invalid. "A therefore B" This is the traditional HUmean take on the problem of induction. This invalid form has been commonly attributed to science. We observe a certain singular event and then assume it the case every single time. Hume noted that no matter how many tests we make--even if we test something 5 million times--we are never justified in our universal belief, we can never escape that invalid form...in other words, no scientific law is justified.

Karl Popper however says that science is not inductive in the Humean sense. Actually, according to Popper, science is deductive. He uses modus tollens as the form of what he dubbs falsificationism.

A => -B
B
-A

If all swans are white then there are no black swans
There are black swans (they have been discovered in Australia)
Therefore it is not the case that all swans are white

Popper says science progresses via this mode...we must make theories falsifiable. So, we can only validly infer the falsity of a given theory...we cannot infer the truth. I hope I did justice to Popper in explaining his ideas.

That is though my very question...has he satisfied the problem of induction?
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PostSubject: Re: Invalide/valid induction?   Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:22 am

Corey you bastard...this is Kelby!!
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PostSubject: Re: Invalide/valid induction?   Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:46 pm

myhypocricy wrote:
Corey you bastard...this is Kelby!!

Well you best stop following my around Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Invalide/valid induction?   Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:17 pm

myhypocricy wrote:
Observed Observer wrote:
I'm not sure if i understand? Why can only the falsity of a theory be inferred?

Yeah that's my question..haha
Hume's problem is one of inferring universals from particulars. So for example..."This swan is white. Therefore all swans are white."
The form is obviously invalid. "A therefore B" This is the traditional HUmean take on the problem of induction. This invalid form has been commonly attributed to science. We observe a certain singular event and then assume it the case every single time. Hume noted that no matter how many tests we make--even if we test something 5 million times--we are never justified in our universal belief, we can never escape that invalid form...in other words, no scientific law is justified.

Karl Popper however says that science is not inductive in the Humean sense. Actually, according to Popper, science is deductive. He uses modus tollens as the form of what he dubbs falsificationism.

A => -B
B
-A

If all swans are white then there are no black swans
There are black swans (they have been discovered in Australia)
Therefore it is not the case that all swans are white

Popper says science progresses via this mode...we must make theories falsifiable. So, we can only validly infer the falsity of a given theory...we cannot infer the truth. I hope I did justice to Popper in explaining his ideas.

That is though my very question...has he satisfied the problem of induction?
Very interesting. I have often pointed criticisms of science In that it doesn't "prove" anything for induction can only be strong or weak not valid or invalid.

When someone looks at a white swan, they don't say ALL SWANS ARE WHITE. Instead science will come up with a probability for swans being white or not. Now the problem is that there is an unknown amount of swans in the future, so all probability can be reduced to near nothing. So a statement saying anything about "ALL of anything" meaning "all of anything ever" is impossible.

It is true that we use modus tollens to falsify a theory, to reduce its probability. But that does not escape the fact that without the first induction the falsification process cannot occur. I believe a theory progresses both ways probabilistic induction and falsification with particulars. More and More evidence can pile up and make the induction stronger, while on the prowl for falsification which make the induction weaker.

Maybe I'm just babbling, well those are a few thoughts I'll think about it more.
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PostSubject: Re: Invalide/valid induction?   Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:56 pm

myhypocricy wrote:
What does everyone think about the idea proposed by Popper that the problem of induction is a non-problem in that science's efforts of induction are actually valid, and not invalid, via falsification? By using modus tollens, an obviously valid form, as the process of falsification, has Popper satisfied the problem of induction, rendering Hume's assumption of induction as invalid actually valid? In other words...is the inferential force of science actually deductive and not inductive as claimed by Hume because as Popper states, "Only the falsity of the theory can be inferred from empirical evidence and this inference is a purely deductive one?"
Thoughts...?

source: the book--"Objective Knowledge" By Karl Popper
and the essay--- "The Problem of Induction" by Popper found at: http://www.dieoff.org/page126.htm
1) one reaction is that the idea that 'Science' involves only final judgments related to falsification would mean that humans are incapable of science. Walking around, everything tentative, ready to be released at the first sighting of a black swan. I realize this is a rather practical, rather than abstract criticism, but then, here we are in the concrete world, so why not? My assertion, offered without much support, is that humans are not capable of behaving or even thinking in the kind of as if proposed here. They can 'think' - have outbursts of mental verbal activity - this way, but they cannot sustain it and it is only one small portion of them that actually (tries to) views the world this way.
2) What if Rupert Sheldrake is correct in his idea that what science has been inductively (tentatively) theorizing so far has actually be a set of ideas (based on induction) that are actually habits AND the process of scientific inquiry and recording is a part of what maintains the habit. IOW seeing something as non-local and eternal is a self-fulfilling prophecy or is a factor in that direction.
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PostSubject: Re: Invalide/valid induction?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:31 am

creasy wrote:
What if Rupert Sheldrake is correct in his idea that what science has been inductively (tentatively) theorizing so far has actually be a set of ideas (based on induction) that are actually habits AND the process of scientific inquiry and recording is a part of what maintains the habit. IOW seeing something as non-local and eternal is a self-fulfilling prophecy or is a factor in that direction.

That's practically what Hume said...that induction, though unjustified, is unavoidable because of habit. I think Popper tries to solve this by noting that true science is not inductive at all. So all claims that state science as an inductive process are wrong, because real science is not inductive at all...not even in the least. IN other words, the correlation of induction to scientific endeavor is a misunderstood and misguided fallacy. When scientists do however base their claims on induction, they are no longer doing real science. Science is not to be lived...it is to be practiced.
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PostSubject: Re: Invalide/valid induction?   Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:13 pm

myhypocricy wrote:
creasy wrote:
What if Rupert Sheldrake is correct in his idea that what science has been inductively (tentatively) theorizing so far has actually be a set of ideas (based on induction) that are actually habits AND the process of scientific inquiry and recording is a part of what maintains the habit. IOW seeing something as non-local and eternal is a self-fulfilling prophecy or is a factor in that direction.

That's practically what Hume said...that induction, though unjustified, is unavoidable because of habit. I think Popper tries to solve this by noting that true science is not inductive at all. So all claims that state science as an inductive process are wrong, because real science is not inductive at all...not even in the least. IN other words, the correlation of induction to scientific endeavor is a misunderstood and misguided fallacy. When scientists do however base their claims on induction, they are no longer doing real science. Science is not to be lived...it is to be practiced.

So then science would never be able to confirm anything, only falsify it. So would all advancements be the effect of process elimination from falsification, or is science still the conclusion from probability of cause and effect? In other words do we say "hmm, not it, not it, not it" and conclude therefor "it"? Or rather do we say "it, it, it, it, not it, therefor (state a probability for it occurring)?? The latter method being induction, the former being deduction with the process of elimination.
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PostSubject: Re: Invalide/valid induction?   Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:03 pm

I believe I understand the problem. Perhaps the solution is that a scientific theory cannot be Falsified.

If we witnessed 1,000 swans which we perceive all being white. We now perceive what appears to be a Black swan. We have only found a subjective empirical observation to what we set out to find i.e. the falsification of a theoretical proposition.

No theory can be 'proved True' and no theory can be falsified.
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