Alex Zagati

Vincitori del canale B (lingua straniera), 2018/2019

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Traccia n. 4 According to a widely accepted view—to be opposed in this book — the empirical sciences can be characterized by the fact that they use ‘inductive methods’, as they are called. According to this view, the logic of scientific discovery would be identical with inductive logic, i.e. with the logical analysis of these inductive methods. It is usual to call an inference ‘inductive’ if it passes from singular statements (sometimes also called ‘particular’ statements), such as accounts of the results of observations or experiments, to universal statements, such as hypotheses or theories. Now it is far from obvious, from a logical point of view, that we are justified in inferring universal statements from singular ones, no matter how numerous; for any conclusion drawn in this way may always turn out to be false: no matter how many instances of white swans we may have observed, this does not justify the conclusion that all swans are white. The question whether inductive inferences are justified, or under what conditions, is known as the problem of induction. (K. Popper, The logic of scientific discovery, Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2005 pp.3-4)