An essentialist perspective on the problem of induction
AbstractIf one believes, as Hume did, that all events are loose and separate, then the problem of induction is probably insoluble. Anything could happen. But if one thinks, as scientific essentialists do, that the laws of nature are immanent in the world, and depend on the essential natures of things, then there are strong constraints on what could possibly happen. Given these constraints, the problem of induction may be soluble. For these constraints greatly strengthen the case for conceptual and theoretical conservatism, and rule out Goodmanesque inferences based on alternative descriptions of the world. This may not, in itself, solve the problem, but it significantly changes its nature.
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