Induction: reasoning or prejudice? - Lecture Series
All the critical reasoning textbooks put inductive reasoning on a par with deductive reasoning. It is just one form of reasoning, albeit one we have not been able to systemise in the way deduction has been systematised. This may seem unproblematic – after all inductive reasoning, so it has been said, is central to scientific practice. But there are notorious problems with inductive reasoning. Hume told us that induction can’t be justified – that we have no reason to use it. He didn’t think, though, that we could not use it. Popper, however, eschewed it completely. He denied that it was reasoning, arguing that confirmation, of any kind, is a waste of scientific time – falsification is what is needed, and that uses deduction. During these lectures we will consider these questions. There will be plenty of opportunity to question the speaker.
MONDAYS 10 OCTOBER – 14 NOVEMBER 2016
Tea/coffee is provided in the Common Room after each lecture, from 3.30pm
1.45pm Registration (first week only 10 October in Rewley House Reception)
10 OCT 2016
The Nature of Induction
17 OCT 2016
Hume: The Uniformity of Nature
24 OCT 2016
Popper: Confirmation and Falsification
31 OCT 2016
7 NOV 2016
Are we really rational?
14 NOV 2016
Rationality and persuasion
Talbot, M: Critical Reasoning: A Romp Through the Foothills of Logic: available as an e-book (only) from: https://mariannetalbot.co.uk/about/marianne-talbots-books/critical-reasoning-a-romp-through-the-foothills-of-logic/ chapters 3 and 4.
Miller, D: Critical Rationalism: A Restatement and Defence Open Court publishers 1994 (now out of print but available from Amazon), especially chapter 1, and 'Do We Reason When We Think We Reason, or Do We Think?' (2005)at: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/go/dwmiller/lfd-.pdf?
Popper, K: The Logic of Scientific Discovery, 1934 (as Logik der Forschung, English translation 1959), ISBN 0-415-27844-9
Marianne Talbot – podcast on the differences between deduction and induction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cff4jr8CCLA Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (SEP) on Karl Popper: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/popper/ SEP on the problem of induction: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/induction-problem/
Tuition (includes tea/coffee): £105.00
If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.
If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.
Ms Marianne Talbot
Director & Tutor
Marianne Talbot B.A., B.Phil., has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education since 2001.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support