more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 19463

[catalogued under 2. Reason / F. Fallacies / 1. Fallacy]

Full Idea

In all inductive reasoning we make the assumption that there is a measure of uniformity in nature; or, roughly speaking, that the future will, in the appropriate respects, resemble the past.

Gist of Idea

Induction assumes some uniformity in nature, or that in some respects the future is like the past


A.J. Ayer (The Problem of Knowledge [1956], 2.viii)

Book Reference

Ayer,A.J.: 'The Problem of Knowledge' [Penguin 1966], p.7

A Reaction

I would say that nature is 'stable'. Nature changes, so a global assumption of total uniformity is daft. Do we need some global uniformity assumptions, if the induction involved is local? I would say yes. Are all inductions conditional on this?