Refutations of the Two Pessimistic Inductions

Philosophia 44 (3):835-844 (2016)
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Both the pessimistic inductions over scientific theories and over scientists are built upon what I call proportional pessimism: as theories are discarded, the inductive rationale for concluding that the next theories will be discarded grows stronger. I argue that proportional pessimism clashes with the fact that present theories are more successful than past theories, and with the implications of the assumptions that there are finitely and infinitely many unconceived alternatives. Therefore, the two pessimistic inductions collapse along with proportional pessimism.
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First archival date: 2016-06-05
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