The Uniformity Principle vs. the Disuniformity Principle

Acta Analytica 32 (2):213-222 (2017)
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Abstract

The pessimistic induction is built upon the uniformity principle that the future resembles the past. In daily scientific activities, however, scientists sometimes rely on what I call the disuniformity principle that the future differs from the past. They do not give up their research projects despite the repeated failures. They believe that they will succeed although they failed repeatedly, and as a result they achieve what they intended to achieve. Given that the disuniformity principle is useful in certain cases in science, we might reasonably use it to infer that present theories are true unlike past theories. Hence, pessimists have the burden to show that our prediction about the fate of present theories is more likely to be true if we use the uniformity principle than if we use the disuniformity principle.

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Seungbae Park
Ulsan National Institute Of Science And Technology

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