The problem of induction: solved once and for all?

What is the problem of induction? Before we answer that let’s answer what induction is. 

Induction is reasoning from specific to general. In other words, we are reasoning from a sample size to a population. 

An example of induction, “Everyday the sun has come up in the past. Therefore, it will probably come up tomorrow.” 

The problem arises when we realize a key assumption that induction is based on. The assumption appears to have no justification. It’s been noted that one can’t rely on a posteriori knowledge because this would beg the question. It’s also been noted that a priori knowledge would defeat the problem. But many say that there isn’t a good secular argument for a priori knowledge of the principle that the future resembles the past. 

The assumption is that the future will be like the past. This is just assumed. People have tried to come up with rational justifications for

this assumption but to no avail. 

However, recently Philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, has come up with a feasible solution to the problem of induction. 

Plantinga says, 

“Theism, however, provides a reason for the problem of induction: God has created us and our
noetic capacities and has created the world; he has also created the former in such a way
as to be adapted to the latter. It is likely, then, that he has created the world in such a way
that in fact the future will indeed resemble the past in the relevant way). (Perhaps we know a
priori that the future will resemble the past.”) 

First off, it seems plausible to suggest that God can feasibly create a world where the future resembles the past. 

Secondly, if God has made our minds, then our minds will be reliable in determining truth. God is the ultimate mind from where all finite minds come from. It’d be hardly surprising that humans would also have a mind that is reliable. He’s adapted the mind to be able to discover the world. 

So what does this mean? It would mean we would have a non-circular justification to defeat the problem of induction. We wouldn’t be relying on a posteriori (after experience) justification. We would be relying on a priori (before experience) justification. The a priori idea is an innate idea implanted by God himself. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s