Single Idea 7006

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

Full Idea

Although Hempel's raven paradox produces an absurdity of irrelevant observations, we can ignore it because (unlike good observations) observing a white handbag supports the contradictions of 'ravens are black' and 'ravens are non-black'.

Gist of Idea

Observing irrelevant items supports both 'all x are y' and 'all x are non-y', revealing its absurdity


Jonathan Schofield (talk [2005]), quoted by PG - Db (ideas)

A Reaction

The idea of 'eliminating it from our enquiries' cannot be totally irrational (e.g. in detective work), but it is only seriously sensible in a restricted domain (such as a country house)