Probabilist - Deductive Inference in Gassendi's Logic Essay

Probabilist - Deductive Inference in Gassendi's Logic Essay

Length: 3534 words (10.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

‘Probabilist’ Deductive Inference in Gassendi's Logic*


ABSTRACT: In his Logic, Pierre Gassendi proposes that our inductive inferences lack the information we would need to be certain of the claims that they suggest. Not even deductivist inference can insure certainty about empirical claims because the experientially attained premises with which we adduce support for such claims are no greater than probable. While something is surely amiss in calling deductivist inference "probabilistic," it seems Gassendi has hit upon a now-familiar, sensible point—namely, the use of deductive reasoning in empirical contexts, while providing certain formal guarantees, does not insulate empirical arguments from judgment by the measure of belief which we invest in their premises. The more general point, which distinguishes Gassendi among his contemporaries, is that the strength shared by all empirical claims consists in the warrant from experience for those claims we introduce in their support.

In Book IV (On method) of his Institutio Logica, Pierre Gassendi proposes an unusual venue for probable and nondeductive inference in empirical reasoning: demonstrative syllogism. Thus, in 'resolution'—the seeking of a thing's causes given the evidence of its effects—he recognizes the critical role of inferring general claims from the particulars of empirical data, not least from what he calls 'the evidence of signs'. And intriguingly, he construes resolution-based claims as merely probable, though we attain them through classically deductive syllogism, because they represent merely possible claims among a field of alternatives—perhaps in the manner of Descartes's method. In the preceding book (On the syllogism), Gassendi presents a relatively tradit...


... middle of paper ...


....

Garber, Daniel. "Descartes and Experiment in the Discourse and Essays," in Stephen Voss, Essays on the Philosophy and Science of Rene Descartes. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Gassendi, Pierre. Institutio Logica, 1658.

Hacking, Ian. The Emergence of Probability. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Hatfield, Gary. "Science, Certainty, and Descartes", in PSA 1988: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. Volume Two. 249-262. East Lansing, Michigan: Philosophy of Science Association, 1988.

Hintikka, Jakko. "Aristotelian Induction," in Revue Internationale de Philosophie 34 (1980): 422-40.

Milton, J. R. "Induction before Hume," British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (1987): 49-74.

Urbach, Peter. Francis Bacon's Philosophy of Science. La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1987.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Is Human Reasoning Rational? Essay

- Is human reasoning rational. Draw on theories of deductive reasoning and your own experience with Sudoku puzzles. Reasoning can be defined as the problems that differ from other kinds of problems in that they often owe their origins to formal systems of logic (Eysenck and Keane (2005). Deductive reasoning is a type of reasoning that leads to conclusions that are definitely true given that statements the conclusion is based on are true. Rationality is the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason....   [tags: Logic, Reasoning, Deductive reasoning, Inference]

Powerful Essays
983 words (2.8 pages)

Mathematics : Mathematical Reasoning And Logic Essay examples

- Introduction Mathematical reasoning that to nowadays represents more essential to said verbal reasoning, plays a fundamental role in the development of our life and the progress of humanity. Areas such as, physics, social sciences, management and computer science. But in computing, we need more of a particular branch of the so-called mathematics: discrete mathematics. Discrete mathematics has become popular thanks to their applications in computer science. Notations and concepts of discrete mathematics are used to study problems in algorithmic and programming....   [tags: Mathematics, Logic, Algorithm, Mathematical logic]

Powerful Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Aristotle 's Theory Of Logic Essay

- Aristotle Aristotle made contributions to logic, physics, biology, medicine, and agriculture. He redesigned most, if not all, areas of knowledge he studied. Later in life he became the “Father of logic” and was the first to develop a formalized way of reasoning. Aristotle was a greek philosopher who founded formal logic, pioneered zoology, founded his own school, and classified the various branches of philosophy. Aristotle made basic rules and categories to organize logic and became known as the founder of logic....   [tags: Scientific method, Logic, Aristotle, Philosophy]

Powerful Essays
1067 words (3 pages)

The Basic Principles Of Logic Essay

- When constructing an argument, the person must come from a logical perspective. In doing so, individuals must understand “the basic principles of logic”. According to D.Q. McInerny, in her book Being Logical, there are four principles of logic. This includes, the principle of individuality, the precept of the excluded middle, the principle of sufficient understanding, and the principle of contradiction. Along with the principles of logic, the language of logic should be taken into account with arguments....   [tags: Logic, Argument, Critical thinking, Reasoning]

Powerful Essays
980 words (2.8 pages)

Methods to Strengthen the Chains of Inference Essay

- INTRODUCTION Structured responses to the limited capacity of both organisations and individuals to deal with ambiguity that is inherent to intelligence analysis are necessary to strengthen the ‘chains of inference’ or maximise the rigor of judgements. This essay will focus on overcoming cognitive and to a lesser extent, personal and organisational bias and limitations. Organisational issues that affect the quality of analysis such as analyst training are outside the scope of this short essay. Moreover, many of the high profile intelligence failures are attributable less to organisational obstacles than political or psychological barriers , ....   [tags: Intelligence]

Powerful Essays
1625 words (4.6 pages)

Nature and Logic Essay

- Philosophy 103: Introduction to Logic The Nature of Logic Abstract: Some of the uses of logic are illustrated, and deductive arguments are briefly distinguished from inductive arguments. I. Logic is the study of the methods and principles used in distinguishing correct from incorrect reasoning. B. Logic differs from psychology in being a normative or a prescriptive discipline rather than a descriptive discipline. 1. I.e., it prescribes how one ought to reason; it's not concerned with how one actually does reason....   [tags: essays research papers]

Powerful Essays
1010 words (2.9 pages)

Discussion of Bradley's The Principles of Logic Essay

- Discussion of Bradley's The Principles of Logic If I make the claim, “A wolf is a mammal,” I do not assert anything about my idea of a wolf, but rather something general about this real class of beasts. For Bradley, to admit this is to admit that ideas are general terms that refer to an independent reality. But notice that if, faced with one of these actual canines, I then say “Here is a wolf”, each term of this singular judgment is itself general and cannot possibly hope to capture in its particularity and wealth of detail the animal in question....   [tags: Bradley Principles Logic Essays]

Free Essays
5364 words (15.3 pages)

Faithful and Fruitful Logic Essay

- Faithful and Fruitful Logic Appropriate for a conference relating philosophy and education, we seek ways more faithful than the truth-functional (TF) hook to understand and represent that ordinary-language conditional which we use in, e.g., modus ponens, and that conditional’s remote and counterfactual counterparts, and also the proper negations of all three. Such a logic might obviate the paradoxes caused by T-F representation, and be educationally fruitful. William and Martha Kneale and Gilbert Ryle assist us: "In the hypothetical case in which p, it is inferable, on the basis that p and at least in the given context, that q." "Inferable" is explained....   [tags: Logic Philosophy Papers]

Free Essays
3200 words (9.1 pages)

Essay about The Influence of Logic and Perception

- The Influence of Logic and Perception The online website, dictionary.com, defines logic as the study of the principles of reasoning, especially of the structure of propositions as distinguished from their content and of method and validity in deductive reasoning. (http://dictionary.reference.com/) This same website defines critical thinking as the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion....   [tags: Reasoning Logic Critical Thinking Essays]

Powerful Essays
696 words (2 pages)

Nature of Logic and Perception Essay

- Nature or Logic and Perception Outline: 1. Definition of logic and its connection with critical thinking. 2. An everyday example is given when use of logic and critical thinking takes place. 3. Nature of logic defined. 4. Perceptual shortcuts and factors influencing it. 5. How these shortcuts affect our decisions. 6. My personal experience of perceptual shortcut. 7. What I learned from this experience. 8. Importance of logic and critical thinking. 9. Resources This paper is aimed at the relation logic has with perception....   [tags: Logic Critical Thinking Philosophy Essays]

Powerful Essays
1135 words (3.2 pages)