Skepticism About Induction

  • Kevin McCain
Part of the Springer Undergraduate Texts in Philosophy book series (SUTP)


Another way of challenging our scientific knowledge is to challenge our knowledge of all unobserved cases and our ability to make justified predictions about what will happen on the basis of previous observations. The skeptic about induction claims that while we might observe many, many instances of As that are Bs this does not allow us to know that the next A we observe will be a B (or even reasonably believe that it will be or is likely to be a B). This sort of inductive skepticism poses a major threat to our scientific knowledge as well as our commonsense knowledge of the world around us. After all, we depend on this sort of inference (from observed cases to what we expect to observe in the future) every day. This chapter argues that again the skeptical challenge can be overcome by carefully understanding the sort of explanationist account of evidential support which has been developed in earlier chapters.


Good Explanation Fundamental Form Explanatory Reasoning Inductive Reasoning Reflective Equilibrium 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kevin McCain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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