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Science & Reason$
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Henry E. Kyburg

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780195062533

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195062533.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 October 2021

Choosing Among Conventions

Choosing Among Conventions

(p.111) 7 Choosing Among Conventions
Science & Reason

Jr. Henry E. Kyburg

Oxford University Press

The majority of the philosophical attention on induction has been connected with universal conventions: “All crows are black,” “All emeralds are green,” “Every creature with kidneys is a creature with a heart,” and others. It has been observed that if it can be shown how and why (and whether) such conventions can be given rational justification by our restrained observations of the world, the outcome will be simpler. It is felt that it is but a small step from here to quantitative laws (all samples of mercury have a density of 13.6) and only a little-longer jump to general theories. After achieving an understanding of general theories, we can go back, in a mopping-up approach, to handle such irrelevant trivia as statistical conventions.

Keywords:   philosophical, universal conventions, rational justification, quantitative laws, general theories

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