Induction, Probability, and Causation by C. D. Broad (auth.)

By C. D. Broad (auth.)

In his essay on 'Broad on Induction and chance' (first released in 1959, reprinted during this volume), Professor G. H. von Wright writes: "If Broad's writings on induction have remained much less identified than a few of his different contributions to philosophy . . . , one cause of this is often that large by no means has released a publication at the topic. it's very a lot to be was hoping that, for the advantage of destiny scholars, Broad's leader papers on induction and likelihood can be amassed in one quantity . . . . " the current quantity makes an attempt to accomplish this carrier to destiny scholars of induction and chance. The advice of publishing a quantity of this type in Synthese Library was once first made through Professor Donald Davidson, one of many editors of the Library, and was once partially brought on by means of Professor von Wright's assertion. In conducting this recommendation, the editors of Synthese Library have had the beneficiant help of Professor large who has between different issues provided a brand new Addendum to 'The rules of complex Induction' and corrected a few misprints present in the 1st printings of this paper. The editors gratefully acknow­ ledge Professor Broad's support and encouragement. A bibliography of Professor Broad's writings (up to 1959) has been compiled by way of Dr. C. Lewy and has seemed in P. A. Schilpp, editor, The Philosophy of C. D. vast (The Library of residing Philosophers), pp. 833-852.

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Such that all spherical objects with the property x are white, would seem plausible. It therefore looks as if ¢ and 1/J must not be properties which are wholly unrestricted, and that in fact ¢ must be a property of a very special sort, if the statement is to seem plausible. This is reinforced by the following consideration. We have seen that, if we take Unax without any special hypothesis about¢ and 1/J, two laws correspond to every conjunction of attributes. Now many people would hold that if a swan is white there must be some property x possessed by this swan such that all swans with this property are white.

Now relative to that possibility it is not nonsense to talk of the actual position of the human race in the course of nature as a whole as a random position. And what we have argued is that the hypothesis that we are in a singular region of nature tends to undermine itself because it is highly improbable that the whole course of human experience should fall (as it has done) into wliat on the hypothesis itself is a small exceptional region of the universe. It must be noticed that this argument only applies at all strongly to the general characteristics observable in the part of the universe that has fallen under observation.

12 The second alternative, that the part of the world that has fallen under human observation really does depart widely from uniform distribution but that this is averaged out by the much wider part that has never been 34 THE RELATION BETWEEN INDUCTION AND PROBABILITY observed, is much harder to treat properly. It evidently assumes that there is an unobservable part of nature and that the sole reason why it is unobservable is because we cannot perceive what is very distant in space or past time or what is future in time.

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