First, before exploring the possible reasons to dismiss inductive reasoning, it is worth understanding completely how it is applied and justified for application. A helpful argument in understanding induction itself is Russell’s, in which he gives the example that if we hear thunder, it is reasonable to conclude that preceding that thunder came lightning based on our experiences of these occurrences in nature. This idea of past experience is then used to justify the theory of induction, assuming that if we observe that A often happens in relation to B, then we can reasonably conclude that A and B are somehow connected. This also is how the scientific method essentially works. A theory is proposed, followed by an experiment to test said theory, and once the experiment has been repeated to ensure that we have reason enough to believe that A and B cause C, it is accepted as the truth. Thus, the scientific method is the application of induction into practice.
In Karl Popper’s paper The Problem of Induction, however, Popper argues that induction is not adequate justification to warrant a reasonable conclusion. In fact...
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...g on the fact that we can breach these inevitable gaps of knowledge and still find a conclusion. As Kuhn comments, science requires a definitive paradigm in which we can commit to, because without it, there would be no scientific advancement. In this sense, the inductive reasoning used in the scientific method is justified, as our understanding of scientific truths and all scientific advancement relies on its existence.
While Popper’s qualms about inductive reasoning appear to be justified, it nonetheless proves itself to be the less-problematic approach to scientific learning. This approach need not be flawless for it to be functional in its practical application in the world, and for us to justify its continued use. It simply needs to allow progress, which Popper’s overly-cautious deductive approach evidentially does not allow, at least not on a comparable scale.
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