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The Logic of Reliable and Efficient Inquiry

By Oliver Schulte


. This paper pursues a thorough-going instrumentalist, or meansends, approach to the theory of inductive inference. I consider three epistemic aims: convergence to a correct theory, fast convergence to a correct theory and steady convergence to a correct theory (avoiding retractions). For each of these, two questions arise: (1) What is the structure of inductive problems in which these aims are feasible ? (2) When feasible, what are the inference methods that attain them? Formal learning theory provides the tools for a complete set of answers to these questions. As an illustration of the results, I apply means-ends analysis to various versions of Goodman's Riddle of Induction. 1. Means-Ends Solutions for Problems of Induction Empirical inquiry begins with questions about the world, and uses evidence to find answers. One of the major issues of epistemology is how inquiry should go about its task. This question leads immediately to the topic of inductive inference, how to gener..

Year: 1999
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