See also:term applied to the
See also:process of discovering principles by the observation and combination of particular instances . Aristotle, who did so much to establish the
See also:laws of deductive reasoning, neglected induction, which he identified with a
See also:complete enumeration of facts; and the schoolmen were wholly concerned with syllogistic logic . A new era opens with
See also:Bacon, whose writings all preach the principle of investigating the laws of nature with the purpose of improving the conditions of human
See also:life . Unluckily his mind was still enslaved by the formulae of the quasi-
See also:mechanical scholastic logic . He supposed that natural laws would disclose themselves by the accumulation and due arrangement of instances without any need for
See also:speculation on the
See also:part of the investigator . In his Novum Organum there are directions for
See also:drawing up the various kinds of lists of instances . For two
See also:hundred years after Bacon's
See also:death little was done towards the theory of induction; the reason being, probably, that the
See also:practical scientists knew no logic, while the university logicians, with their conservative devotion to the
See also:syllogism, knew no science .
See also:Whewell's Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (184o), the
See also:work of a thoroughly equipped scientist, if not of a
See also:great philosopher, shows due appreciation of the
See also:cardinal point neglected by Bacon, the
See also:function of theorizing in inductive
See also:research . He saw that science advances only in so far as the mind of the inquirer is able to suggest organizing ideas whereby our observations and experiments are colligated into intelligible
See also:system . In this respect J . S .
See also:Mill is inferior to Whewell: throughout his System of Logic (1843) he ignores the constitutive work of the mind, and regards knowledge as the merely passive reception of sensuous impressions .
His work was intended mainly to reduce theprocedure of induction to a
See also:demonstrative system like that of the syllogism; and it was for this purpose that he formulated his famous Four Methods of Experimental Inquiry . His work has contributed greatly to the systematic treatment of induction . But it must be remarked that his Four Methods are not methods of formal
See also:proof, as their author supposed, but methods whereby hypotheses are suggested or tested . The .actual proof of an hypothesis is never formal, but always lies in the tests of experiment or observation to which it is subjected . The current theory of induction as set forth in the standard
See also:works is so far satisfactory that it combines the merit of Whewell's treatment with that of Mill's; and yet it is plain that there is much for the logician of the future to accomplish . The most important
See also:faculty in scientific inquiry is the faculty of suggesting new and valuable hypotheses . But no one has ever given any explanation how the hypotheses arise in the mind: we attribute it to "
See also:genius," which, of course, is no explanation at all . The logic of
See also:discovery, in the higher sense of the term, simply has no existence . Another important but neglected province of the subject is the relation of scientific induction to the inductions of everyday life . There are some who think that a study of this relation would quite transform the accepted view of induction . Consider such a piece of reasoning as may be heard any
See also:day in a
See also:court of
See also:justice, a detective who explains how in his opinion a certain burglary was effected . If all reasoning is either deductive or inductive, this must be induction .
And yet it does notanswer to the accepted definition of induction, " the process of discovering a general principle by observation of particular instances ": what the detective does is to reconstruct a particular
See also:crime; he evolves no general principle . Such reasoning is used by every man in every
See also:hour of his life: by it we understand what
See also:people are doing around us, and what is the meaning of the sense-impressions which we receive . In the logic of the future it will probably be recognized that scientific induction is only one
See also:form of this universal constructive or reconstructive faculty . Another most important question closely akin to that just mentioned is the true relation between these reasoning processes and our general life as active intelligent beings . How is it that the detective is able to understand the burglar's plan of
See also:action?—the military
See also:commander to forecast the enemy's plan of
See also:campaign ? Primarily, because he himself is capable of making such plans . Men as active creatures co-operating with their
See also:fellow-men are incessantly engaged in forming plans and in apprehending the plans of those around them . Every plan may be viewed as a form of induction; it is a
See also:scheme invented to meet a given situation, an hypothesis which is put to the test of events, and is verified or refuted by practical success or failure . Such considerations widen still farther our view of scientific induction and help us to understandits relation to ordinary human thought and activity . The scientific investigator in his inductive stage is endeavouring to make out the plan on which his material is constructed . The phenomena serve as indications to help him in framing his hypothesis, generally a guess at first, which he proceeds to verify by experiment and the collection of additional facts . In the deductive stage he assumes that he has made out the plan and can apply it to the discovery of further detail .
He has the capacity of detecting plans in nature because he is wont to form plans for practical purposes . There are
See also:recent accounts of induction in Welton's
See also:Manual of Logic, ii., in H . W . B .
See also:Joseph's Introduction to Logic, and in W . R .
See also:Gibson's Problem of Logic; see also
See also:Lock . (H .
There are no comments yet for this article.
Do not copy, download, transfer, or otherwise replicate the site content in whole or in part.
Links to articles and home page are encouraged.