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Problem Of Induction/Falsifiability Essay

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Philosophy Assignment #4  

  1.   The Problem of Induction was first brought forth by David Hume, a considerably famous Scottish philosopher. The problem of induction is the difficulty in justifying universal generalizations with observation. For example, when we conduct an experiment to find the boiling point of water we take a fraction of all the water in the world at a given time. When we discover that our sample water has a boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius we assume all water boils at the same temperature. The problem that Hume brings up is we have no assurance that all water will boil at 100 degrees. There might be some distant planet wear water boils at 110 degrees or some catastrophic event in the future will change the composition of water and its boiling point on Earth. In this and almost all cases, the only grounds we have to believe that water will boil at 100 degrees in the future is because it has done so in the past. This turns most any counter argument against the Problem of Induction into begging the question; a logical fallacy. For example, ice will melt at zero degrees in the future because it has done so in the past. The Problem of induction shows us that we have no justification that our scientific laws will hold in the future and for that matter, that they are even laws.

  2. Popper believes that falsifiable is the only way to separate pseudoscience from science. We cannot separate pseudoscience and science with truth, because there are instances where pseudoscientific theories are true and scientific theories are false. Truth is also too easy to come by; pseudoscience can make vague claims that can’t help but be true and theories can be written in such a way that they are true by definition. Since truth is too cheap we must go in the opposite direction. If it is possible that a theory can be proven false then it is a scientific theory. When Popper says possible he means logically possibility in contrast to scientific possibility....

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