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Induction

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Edited by: Published: 2017
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In the context of gaining empirical knowledge and doing scientific fieldwork, induction refers to the practice of inferring general claims from regularities observed within a particular body of data. Such general claims are usually delivered as probabilistic judgments or law-like statements. To use an example of the sort frequently given in introductory philosophy textbooks, consider the following: From the fact that the last two hundred pieces of copper I inspected conducted electricity, I infer that in all likelihood the next piece of copper I inspect will also conduct electricity. In the present formulation, this would be a probabilistic judgment, whether the probability is numerically specified or not. Alternatively, one might use the same set of observational data, or evidence, as a basis for ...

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