Advertisement

Best Before Date Necessity: A Reply to Psillos

  • Eduardo Castro
Discussion
  • 8 Downloads

Abstract

This discussion paper is a reply to Stathis Psillos’ paper “Induction and Natural Necessities” (J Gen Philos Sci 48(3):327–340, 2017.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10838-017-9366-z), published in this journal. In that paper, he attempts to refute David Armstrong’s solution to the problem of induction. To accomplish this desideratum, he proposes that the best explanation for our observed regularities is a sort of “best before date” necessity. That is, necessary connections may break down and are not by default timeless. He develops arguments against my (Castro, Teorema 33(3):67–82, 2014) defence of the necessitarian solution regarding a previous paper by Beebee (Noûs 45(3):504–527, 2011.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00821.x). He alleges that (a) best before date necessity is no worse than timeless necessity; (b) his proposal does not imply any further inductive generalisation to timeless necessity; and (c) inductive inferences are justified. In this discussion paper, I provide arguments against these three claims.

Keywords

Induction Timeless necessity Time-limited necessity Inference to the best explanation Laws of nature 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I am very grateful to Carl Hoefer and an anonymous reviewer of this journal whose detailed comments have substantially improved previous versions of this paper. I am also grateful to LOGOS, University of Barcelona, for providing a friendly atmosphere to my sabbatical visit.

Funding

This work was supported by grant SFRH/BSAB/128040/2016, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Programa Operacional Capital Humano.

References

  1. Armstrong, D. (1983). What is a law of nature? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, D. (1991). What makes induction rational? Dialogue, 30(04), 503–511.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0012217300011835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beebee, H. (2011). Necessary connections and the problem of induction. Noûs, 45(3), 504–527.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00821.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Castro, E. (2014). On induction: time-limited necessity vs. timeless necessity. Teorema, 33(3), 67–82.Google Scholar
  5. Castro, E. (2016). Is the Humean defeated by induction? A reply to Smart. Philosophia, 44(2), 435–446.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-016-9700-4.Google Scholar
  6. Devitt, M. (1984). Realism and truth. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  7. Harman, G. (1965). The inference to the best explanation. The Philosophical Review, 74(1), 88–95.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2183532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hildebrand, T. (2018). Natural properties, necessary connections, and the problem of induction. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 96(3), 668–689.  https://doi.org/10.1111/phpr.12351.Google Scholar
  9. Psillos, S. (2002). Simply the best: a case for abduction. In A. C. Kakas & F. Sadri (Eds.), Computational logic: from logic programming into the future, LNAI 2408 (Vol. 2408, pp. 605–625). Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  10. Psillos, S. (2007). The fine structure of inference to the best explanation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 74(2), 441–448.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00030.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Psillos, S. (2017). Induction and natural necessities. Journal for General Philosophy of Science, 48(3), 327–340.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10838-017-9366-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de MatemáticaUniversidade da Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal
  2. 2.LanCog, Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de LetrasUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations