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Keith Lehrer

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198248507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198248507.001.0001

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Induction, Rational Acceptance, and Minimally Inconsistent Sets

Induction, Rational Acceptance, and Minimally Inconsistent Sets

(p.96) 4 Induction, Rational Acceptance, and Minimally Inconsistent Sets

Keith Lehrer

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a theory of inductive inference and rational acceptance in scientific enquiry. A concept of relevant deduction is defined as a concept in which the truth of each and every premise of a deductive argument is essential to establishing the truth of the conclusion by deduction from the premises. This definition is based on the completely abstact notion of a minimally inconsistent sets of statements. In terms of this same abstract logical concept and the relation of probability, this chapter designs a concept of inductive inference that is a principle of rationality. This concept of inductive reference is shown to form the basis of a principle of acceptance in which two important epistemic utilities are maximised.

Keywords:   inductive inference, rational acceptance, relevant deduction, inductive rule, induction, explanation

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