Philosophia

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 435–446

Is the Humean Defeated by Induction? A Reply to Smart

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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Armstrong Explanation Humeanism Induction Laws of Nature 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de MatemáticaUniversidade da Beira InteriorCovilhãPortugal
  2. 2.LanCog Group, Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de LisboaUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal

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