more from Peter Lipton

Single Idea 16858

[catalogued under 14. Science / C. Induction / 4. Reason in Induction]

Full Idea

There is nothing illegitimate about giving arguments for beliefs one already holds. ůSo inductive justification of induction, while impotent against the skeptic, is legitimate for those who already rely on induction.

Gist of Idea

We can argue to support our beliefs, so induction will support induction, for believers in induction


Peter Lipton (Inference to the Best Explanation (2nd) [2004], 11 'Circularity')

Book Reference

Lipton,Peter: 'Inference to the Best Explanation (2nd ed)' [Routledge 2004], p.189

A Reaction

Not so fast! The first sentence is generally right, but if the 'beliefs one already holds' are beliefs about methods of argument, that is a different case. Compare 'this book is the word of God, because it says so in the book'. Can logic prove logic?

Related Idea

Idea 14914 Inductive defences of induction may be rule-circular, but not viciously premise-circular [Ladyman/Ross]