more from Gilbert Harman

Single Idea 6955

[catalogued under 14. Science / C. Induction / 1. Induction]

Full Idea

We might think of enumerative induction as inference to the best explanation, taking the generalization to explain its instances.


'Enumerative' induction counts up instances of some observation

Gist of Idea

Enumerative induction is inference to the best explanation


Gilbert Harman (Rationality [1995], 1.5.2)

Book Reference

Harman,Gilbert: 'Reasoning Meaning and Mind' [OUP 1999], p.34

A Reaction

This is a helpful connection. The best explanation of these swans being white is that all swans are white; it ceased to be the best explanation when black swans turned up. In the ultimate case, a law of nature is the explanation.