more from Brian Ellis

Single Idea 5484

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / f. Necessity in explanations]

Full Idea

For essentialists the problem of induction reduces to discovering what natural kinds there are, and identifying their essential problems and structures. We then know how they must behave in any world, and there is no inference from some to all.

Gist of Idea

Essentialists don't infer from some to all, but from essences to necessary behaviour


Brian Ellis (The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism [2002], Ch.7)

Book Reference

Ellis,Brian: 'The Philosophy of Nature: new essentialism' [Acumen 2002], p.135

A Reaction

The obvious question is how you would determine the essences if you are not allowed to infer 'from some to all'. Personally I don't see induction as a problem, because it is self-evidently rational in a stable world. Hume was right to recommend caution.