Is the Humean Defeated by Induction? A Reply to Smart
This paper is a reply to Benjamin Smart’s (Philos Stud 162 (2): 319–332, 2013) recent objections to David Armstrong’s solution to the problem of induction (What is a Law of Nature? Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1983; Dialogue 30 (4): 503–511, 1991). To solve the problem of induction, Armstrong contends that laws of nature are the best explanation of our observed regularities, where laws of nature are dyadic relations of necessitation holding between first-order universals. Smart raises three objections against Armstrong’s pattern of inference. First, regularities can explain our observed regularities; that is, universally quantified conditionals are required for explanations. Second, if Humean’s pattern of inference is irrational, then Armstrong’s pattern of inference is also irrational. Third, universal regularities are the best explanation of our observed regularities. I defend Armstrong’s solution of induction, arguing against these three claims.
KeywordsArmstrong Explanation Humeanism Induction Laws of Nature
I am very grateful to the anonymous reviewer whose detailed comments have substantially improved a previous version of this paper.
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