The Thomas-Nolt Dispute: Some Lessons about Induction Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • I resolve an apparently unresolved dispute about how probable uniform experience makes an extrapolation from it, and draw some general lessons about such enumerative induction. Uniform experience does not necessarily confer a high probability on an extrapolation of or generalization from that experience. Rational extrapolation or generalization typically involves a lot of specific background information, though not necessarily a general assumption that nature is uniform or that the future will resemble the past. And new evidence which is highly likely on one hypothesis but highly unlikely on any of its competitors does not necessarily make the former hypothesis highly probable.