Proving Induction

Alexander Paseau

Abstract


The hard problem of induction is to argue without begging the question that inductive inference, applied properly in the proper circumstances, is conducive to truth. A recent theorem seems to show that the hard problem has a deductive solution. The theorem, provable in ZFC, states that a predictive function M exists with the following property: whatever world we live in, M ncorrectly predicts the world’s present state given its previous states at all times apart from a well-ordered subset. On the usual model of time a well-ordered subset is small relative to the set of all times. M’s existence therefore seems to provide a solution to the hard problem.
My paper argues for two conclusions. First, the theorem does not solve the hard problem of induction. More positively though, it solves a version of the problem in which the structure of time is given modulo our choice of set theory.

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