more from Peter Lipton

Single Idea 16833

[catalogued under 14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / b. Raven paradox]

Full Idea

We cannot transform a non-black non-raven into a raven to see whether we get a simultaneous transformation from non-black to black, in the way we can transform a flame without sodium into a flame with sodium.


Sodium flames burn yellow

Gist of Idea

We can't turn non-black non-ravens into ravens, to test the theory


Peter Lipton (Inference to the Best Explanation (2nd) [2004], 06 'Unsuitable')

Book Reference

Lipton,Peter: 'Inference to the Best Explanation (2nd ed)' [Routledge 2004], p.98

A Reaction

A white shoe would be an example of a non-black non-raven. People mesmerised by the raven paradox are too concerned with investigation being a 'logical' process. Lipton makes a nice point. We need to know the nature of ravens.